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Winter snowfall near average so far in Duluth

"The worst part is my nose runs," said Jim Merling, 79, of Proctor, as he blows out a neighbor's driveway Wednesday morning. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

The Twin Ports appears on its way to a normal winter, at least so far, with snowfall right on track and temperatures a bit higher than average.

Snowfall in Duluth for the season was just shy of 40 inches by Wednesday, nearly dead-on average for this point in winter and ahead of the 32 inches Duluth had seen at this point last winter.

There were 13 inches of snow on the ground at the National Weather Service office in Duluth as of Wednesday.

Seasonal snowfall in Duluth got a big push this week with 8.3 inches of new snow since Sunday — not enough each day to be an official snowstorm, but enough to plow and shovel and enough to make roads wickedly slick at times.

Heating degree days, a good measure of overall cold that calculates how much energy it takes to heat a home, are at 3,593. That's up a little from 3,318 at this time during last year's balmy winter but down 718, or 17 percent, from normal.

November was 11.4 degrees warmer than normal, and December 1.1 degrees above normal. So far January is 5.5 degrees below normal, but that could change next week.

A brutal few days remain in store this week, with lows forecast to hit the teens below zero on Thursday morning and mid-20s below zero on Friday morning. But temperatures are expected to warm up rapidly for the weekend, with highs in the teens (above zero) on Saturday, 20s on Sunday and upper 20s by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Some computer forecast models predict balmy temperatures next week, with mid- to upper 30s possible in some parts of the Northland — a potential January thraw.

No major snowstorms are in sight.

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