Outdoors blog: How's winter? Not half bad, by the numbers
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
This winter isn't half-bad, numerically
Only now am I beginning to put last winter in perspective. I think of this as a pretty "normal" winter. For snowfall, we're just about average in Duluth, and we have more snow than much of Northeastern Minnesota. Temperature-wise, January was a couple of degrees warmer than average.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its Winter Severity Index figures for Jan. 31 today (a couple of weeks late; the keeper of the WSI was on vacation). At most stations, the WSI totals are about half what they were last year.
So, I'm realizing that last winter was pretty tough. I guess we knew that at the time, based on the WSI and our own fuel bills, but this seems like a "normal" winter and last year was much harsher.
Presumably, we'll get the Feb. 14 numbers early next week. Here are the Jan. 31 numbers:
Brimson -- 34 this year, 88 last year
Cloquet -- 53 this year, 74 last year
Eveleth -- 30 this year, 83 last year
Grand Rapids -- 25 this year, 72 last year
International Falls -- 48 this year, 91 last year
Poplar Lake (Gunflint Trail) -- 43 this year, 96 last year
Snowbank Lake -- 42 this year, 96 last year
Tower -- 35 this year, 96 last year
Two Harbors -- 24 this year, 81 last year