Somewhere out there are the smug people who predicted we would pay for our balmy early winter.

November was 3.8 degrees above normal, December up 9.8 degrees and January up 5.3 degrees. Now we have January temperatures in April.

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And after November, December, January and much of February were mostly snowless, Duluth has received almost 5 feet -- 56.7 inches -- of snow since Feb. 23.

But it's hard to believe that even those visionaries of gloom are smiling now.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from this evening through Wednesday night as the second April snowstorm in eight days bears down on the Northland.

A broad area of Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin could see 6 inches of new snow, and higher elevations around the Twin Ports and North and South shores could see 8 inches or more thanks to winds off Lake Superior.

Snow is expected to start this evening in the Twin Ports and become heavy overnight and early Wednesday before tapering off late Wednesday. Winds off the lake of up to 35 mph will cause poor visibility and significant drifting.

But wait, there's more! Another significant snowstorm could hit parts of the region over the weekend.

"The second storm, Friday night and Saturday, should be really strong. But right now the main [storm track] looks to be quite a bit south and east of us,'' said Amy Liles, National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth.

April has been anything but springlike, as high temperatures have been averaging 10 to 20 degrees below normal. The region should be seeing highs in the upper 40s at this time of April, and the forecast doesn't call for anything that warm until Sunday.

While most of the late winter snow melted soon after it hit 72 degrees on March 26, closing downhill ski areas across the region within days, another foot of snow on April 3 allowed some winter lovers to get back on the trails. Snowflake Nordic Center in Duluth has been grooming trails for classic and skate skiing for the past week and had "midwinter conditions, just beautiful skiing'' according to a message left by owner George Hovland.

Duluth, on average, receives about 90 inches of snow each winter, and with a season total of 80.6 inches heading into tonight's storm, that mark is well within reach. So far in April, 12.7 inches of snow has fallen. That's 10 inches more than the average snowfall for all of April.

The April snow has been slowly pulling the area out of its almost yearlong drought, the worst in 20 years. Much of the Northland, including the Twin Ports, has been upgraded to a moderate drought, although areas north of Duluth still remain in severe or extreme drought conditions.

Take heart, Northland: This unusually cold April has affected the entire eastern half of the nation, with golfers wearing stocking caps in Georgia and an entire major league baseball series canceled in Cleveland due to snow and cold.