Duluth passes 104 inches of snow for the season - with more in the forecast
A half-foot of snow fell at the Duluth International Airport on Thursday, raising the seasonal snowfall total past 104 inches for Duluth and — no kidding — there’s more on the way.
Thursday’s at-times-blinding snowfall vaulted the winter of 2013-14 into 14th place, so far, on the list of snowiest winters on record in Duluth.
It’s the second straight winter over the century mark for snowfall. Last year saw 129.4 inches, the third-highest seasonal snowfall on record in Duluth, not far behind the 135.4 inches in 1995-96 that holds first place.
The highest snow totals were found in a band just south of the Twin Ports. Top snowfall reports through 8:30 p.m. Thursday included 11.5 inches at Wrenshall and from a spotter 5 miles southeast of Superior, 11 inches in Carlton, 10.6 inches near Sawyer and 9 inches in Kettle River. Other reports included 8 inches in western Duluth and near Two Harbors, 7 inches near Bayfield, 5 inches near Lester Park, 4 inches at Lutsen and 2.5 inches near Eveleth.
“We were getting reports of three-inch-per-hour snowfall rates’’ at times Thursday afternoon, said Kevin Huyck, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Duluth.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported eight property-damage crashes and 24 vehicles off the road along state highways in the Duluth district by 3 p.m.
Interstate 35 between Sandstone and Duluth was reported very slow going with large trucks losing traction, particularly northbound on the hill between Midway Road and Proctor, where traffic was at a near-standstill. Minnesota State Patrol Capt. Steve Stromback said traffic was backed up several miles at times Thursday afternoon as troopers worked to get traffic flowing around the stalled semis; both lanes were open again shortly before 6 p.m.
The sun should make an appearance today, with highs around 30; highs are forecast to reach the mid-30s on Saturday and mid-40s on Sunday.
But a return to winter is expected early Monday, with accumulating snow likely and highs only in the 20s.
“I think we’ll probably climb a few more places up the (snowfall) list yet this year,” Huyck said.
Check back to www.duluthnewstribune.com through the weekend for updates on the snow potential for next week.