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Heavy lake-effect snow falls along South Shore; some school districts delay, cancel classes

(News Tribune file photo)

Snow falling at more than an inch an hour at times affected parts of the South Shore of Lake Superior on Monday, with the snow expected to continue overnight and into Tuesday morning.

A National Weather Service spotter near Oulu in Bayfield County reported 4.6 inches of snow between 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, with total snowfall of nearly 14 inches — and counting — through 5:45 p.m. Other reports late Monday and early Tuesday - with snow still falling - included:

  • 12 inches - Blueberry
  • 10 inches - Port Wing
  • 8 inches - Amnicon Falls State Park, Cornucopia
  • 4 inches - Benoit, Ashland, Bayfield
  • 3.2 inches - Mellen

The heavy precipitation is the result of a persistent band of lake-effect snow, caused by northeast winds off Lake Superior, that set up across Douglas and Bayfield counties.

Lesser snow totals were reported elsewhere in the region; the Duluth International Airport reported a total of 2 inches of snow from Sunday through 6 p.m. Monday.

Gusty winds caused blowing snow and made for difficult driving at times. Statewide, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 688 crashes (59 involving injuries, and one involving a fatality in northwestern Minnesota) along with 444 spinouts and nine jackknifed semis on state and federal highways between midnight and 4 p.m. Monday.

After highs near 10 in Duluth on Tuesday, the Weather Service reported that a warmup is in the forecast — with highs forecast to reach the 20s on Wednesday and 30s on Thursday.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS, DELAYS

The following school districts have delayed or canceled classes for Tuesday, Jan. 16:

  • Drummond - closed
  • South Shore - 2-hour delay
  • Washburn - closed
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