More snow. More cold. And then a chance for even more snow.
A respite from the realities of a Minnesota winter isn’t looking likely anytime soon.
What began as a mild winter in early January took a turn toward the frigid when a polar vortex swept over the state, delivering the lowest temperatures in more than 20 years. On its heels came snowstorms in early February, further pushing Minnesota away from a forgiving winter.
As for the rest of February?
“It’s going to be cold. That much we know,” meteorologist Caleb Grunzke said Sunday. Snowfall totals are harder to predict, but models are suggesting the metro area may see up to three times the normal snow accumulation for February.
Snowfall totals so far this month in the Twin Cities are already double the 7.7 inches that’s normal for an entire February. An additional 5 to 8 inches of light, fluffy snow is expected to fall Monday night into Tuesday, and there’s a chance that Thursday night brings several more inches.
The piling snow is pushing the area toward an average winter, Grunzke said.
Still, those bemoaning this as an especially brutal season have some ammunition, considering that the bulk of the extreme winter weather has been jammed into the past two weeks.
And those balmy above-freezing days of early January? Don’t hold your breath.
“We won’t get into warm temps anytime soon,” said Grunzke, who is with the National Weather Service’s Chanhassen office. Those low temperatures, combined with models suggesting a continuing trend of higher-than-normal precipitation, likely mean additional snow, he said.
Monday and Tuesday might bring a tiny bit of relief with highs in the upper 20s, but temperatures otherwise aren’t expected to reach above the teens for the rest of the week.
Despite the chill, skiers and snowboarders out at Buck Hill in Burnsville were just happy for some fresh snow.
“We are just so excited to get the kind of light snow we don’t normally get,” said Claire Weiss, an employee at the ski hill. “Skiing and boarding in fresh powder is the dream, and we haven’t had a lot of it.”
Before hitting the slopes Sunday, several customers were already grabbing passes for multiple days on the slopes and planning out their week to take full advantage of the forecast.
Though it’s easy to grumble about the snow when it spells a long and treacherous commute, Weiss said she hopes the recent weather can also be a reminder of how to embrace winter — even when it all seems to come at once.
“We are Minnesotans and we need to enjoy the snow,” she said. “It’s not all just sitting on 35W for an hour, it’s about actually getting outside and having fun with it.”
And if you’d prefer a milder February, well, there is some good news. February only has 28 days.