DULUTH – Well, that was a nice autumn.
There was snow on the ground in northern Minnesota on Thursday morning, with one observer reporting 1.6 inches near Celina on Hwy. 1 west of Cook. The northeast corner of Itasca County had 1.4 inches; 0.5 inches fell near Big Fork; and there was a dusting along the Gunflint Trail, said Steve Gohde with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
"It makes for a pretty contrast with the leaves changing," Gohde said. "Road surfaces are still above freezing, and it's mostly just turning wet right away."
Trees and grass were holding on to the fresh powder a few miles north of Orr on Hwy. 53 around 9 a.m., Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras showed. It was 33 degrees at the time and light rain was reported in that area near Ash Lake.
The Weather Service said Thursday's rain would "gradually diminish" but temperatures wouldn't — frost was forecast overnight west of Duluth and in northern St. Louis County with lows in the 30s.
More rain could be on the way Friday night into Saturday.
In Duluth, the first measurable snow of the season usually occurs around Oct. 24, according to Weather Service data. The earliest measurable snow in the city came Sept. 18, 1991.
Statewide, the earliest documented snowfall was a trace amount that fell on the Duluth airport on Aug. 31, 1949, according to the Department of Natural Resources.