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A messy mix of rain, freezing rain and snow is expected to move across the Northland overnight, and may cause dangerous driving conditions on Friday morning. The National Weather Service reported that roads in the region may receive a light glaze of ice before precipitation changes over to snow. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Friday for Lake, Cook and central and northern St. Louis counties for the possibility of 1 to 3 inches of snow on top of light freezing rain. Lighter snow accumulations are expected elsewhere in the Northland.
The National Weather Service in Marquette, Mich., reported that the official snow depth in Ironwood on Wednesday was zero -- just the second time that has happened in the month of February in the past 100 years. The previous no-snow February day in the past century was Feb. 27, 1942. Ironwood, along with nearby Hurley, typically sees abundant snow each winter, thanks to lake-effect snow off of Lake Superior. Ironwood hit 56 degrees on Tuesday and nearly reached 50 again on Wednesday, part of a prolonged stretch of unseasonably warm weather.
The Northland's recent stretch of unseasonably warm weather has caused some North Shore waterfalls to shake off their winter coating of ice, at least in part. Temperatures have climbed into the 40s and 50s in recent days -- April-like conditions, only in mid-February -- and on Monday the region saw widespread rainfall of a half-inch or more. While there was plenty of ice to be found on the Gooseberry River at Gooseberry Falls State Park northeast of Two Harbors on Sunday, there also was a lot of open water at and near the falls.
Two rounds of snow dropped more than a half-foot of accumulation in parts of the Northland on Tuesday, causing difficult driving conditions for much of the day. One person died in a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 61 near Two Harbors just after 10 a.m., and one person was injured in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 35 near the Boundary Avenue exit at about 7:45 a.m., the Minnesota State Patrol reported. A rollover crash with injuries was reported along U.S. Highway 53 near Independence just after 4:20 p.m.
Musher Ryan Anderson won his third John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title this morning, crossing the finish line near Duluth just after 10 a.m.
Two-time John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon champion Ryan Anderson moved into the lead Wednesday morning as mushers headed down the final leg of the race toward the finish near Duluth. Race officials are predicting a finish at about 10 a.m. at Billy's Bar on Jean Duluth Road in Rice Lake, just north of Duluth.
The race to win the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon tightened up Tuesday night as the leaders headed down the North Shore toward Duluth. As of Tuesday night, race officials were expecting a finish at about 8 or 9 a.m. - subject to change - at Billy's Bar on Jean Duluth Road in Rice Lake, just north of Duluth. Check www.duluthnewstribune.com and www.beargrease.com for updates on race standings.
Musher Ryan Redington and his team maintained a lead out of the Sawbill checkpoint of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Tuesday. Redington, an Iditarod veteran from Wasilla, Alaska, left Sawbill — 103 miles from the finish of the 373-mile marathon event — at 3:15 p.m. But he was down to just six dogs in harness, according to the race website — most teams start with 14, and race rules require mushers to have at least six dogs to finish. From Sawbill, mushers follow a 30-mile leg to Finland. The top mushers should reach the finish line near Duluth early Wednesday.
Musher Ryan Redington and his team were the first to leave the Grand Portage checkpoint of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Monday night. Redington, an Iditarod veteran from Wasilla, Alaska, left Grand Portage — 183 miles into the 373-mile marathon event — at 9:18 p.m., after a mandatory eight-hour layover. But he was down to just seven dogs in harness, according to the race website — most teams start with 14, and race rules require mushers to have at least six dogs to finish.
Steady light-to-moderate snow added up to as much as 3 to 5 inches of accumulation in parts of the Northland on Monday, causing difficult driving conditions in the region. Travel was tough on the hills of central Duluth during the day, and numerous spinouts and vehicles in ditches were reported across the region. The Duluth school district canceled after-school activities on Monday because of concerns about road conditions getting worse through the afternoon.