Spring Snow Blitz Follows Pathetic Winter

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Departure from average snow depth (inches) on March 20, 2024. (NOAA)
Spring Snow Blitz Follows Pathetic WinterWEATHER.com

America’s weirdest snow drought this winter has been in the upper Midwest.

Nineteen inches of snow sounds like a lot. But that’s how much Duluth, Minnesota, has seen since fall, their record least through March 19 dating to 1885-86, almost 5 feet less than average. It’s also Minneapolis-St. Paul’s least snowfall through any season in 93 years. Few long-time Twin Cities residents have seen a winter with this lack of snow.

So, it only stands to reason this snowless winter saga will change now that spring has officially arrived. A pair of systems will blanket this snow-starved region over the next several days. Combined snow from both systems could be as much as both Duluth and the Twin Cities have scraped up all season.

Even in a strong El Niño winter, this is classic for both March and spring in the upper Midwest. About 11% of the Twin Cities’ average snowfall happens in spring, from late March into April, even May. That’s why you can’t pack the snow thrower away for the season this early, even if it’s been gathering dust in winter.