Prolonged snowstorm has residents digging out — again

March storm leaves much of the lakes area under fresh blanket of 9-14 inches of snow.

Snowy St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Brainerd.
People turn out for a snowy St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in downtown Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Slow and steady snowstorm strong-armed spring into submission.

While it hasn’t exactly felt as though winter was relaxing its grip, the latest snowstorm that dropped more than a foot of snow across the Northland just emphasized the point. The clocks may have sprung ahead this weekend in anticipation of spring, but the area remains heavily encased in white with winter still very much in play.

The long-lasting weekend storm left 6 inches of fresh light snow in Brainerd by 6 p.m. Saturday, March 11. As the National Weather Service in Duluth noted, even light snow, over such a prolonged period, is going to add up. The snowfall appeared to pause before Saturday night. But those who went to bed early thinking they had cleared their driveways Saturday night and the storm had given all it had by then, got a surprise Sunday morning. Overnight another 4 inches fell in Brainerd with trees laden with sticky snow on every branch. Light snow continued to fall throughout the afternoon Sunday.

Snowy St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Brainerd.
People turn out for a snowy St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in downtown Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The weather station at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport noted light snow began falling before 8 a.m. Saturday and continued nearly continuously through 5 p.m. The airport weather station recorded light freezing rain, fog, mist and freezing fog along with the snowfall. Temperatures remained in the 20s since Friday night and were mostly in the upper 20s late Saturday afternoon into Sunday night. The normal high for this time of year is 38 degrees.

The most snow reported with this storm came near Palmers on the North Shore with 17 inches. Duluth followed with 16 inches of snow. Lighter amounts were reported south of Camp Ripley with 5 inches reported south of Little Falls as of 7 a.m. Sunday. Lighter amounts were also reported in St. Cloud, the Twin Cities and southeast Minnesota.


Sunday night, Aitkin County remained in a winter storm warning along with points farther east as Cass and Crow Wing counties transitioned to a winter weather advisory, which expired at 7 p.m.

Looking ahead, the forecast calls for partly sunny skies Monday and mostly sunny skies Tuesday with a high near 30 degrees as a south wind moves in. Expect breezy conditions Tuesday afternoon. The snowpack should start to melt Wednesday when the temperature is forecast to reach 40 degrees, but that comes with a chance for rain Wednesday night followed by a chance of rain and snow into Thursday. Winter doesn’t appear to be finished as snow is likely to return Thursday afternoon. A chance of snow remains part of the outlook for Friday.

But the weekend is anticipated to bring back sunshine with highs in the upper 20s or low 30s. Blustery conditions and a north to northwest wind may make it feel colder.

Spring officially arrives in 6 days on March 20.

Weather records for March 13

  • Highest temperature — 62 degrees in 2012.
  • Coldest high temperature for the day — 10 degrees in 1906.
  • Lowest temperature — dropped to 23 degrees below in 1975.
  • The warmest overnight temperature was 41 degrees in 1995. 

Snowfall totals

  • 14 inches — Hackensack
  • 14 inches — Waukenabo
  • 13 inches — Pine River
  • 12 inches — Outing
  • 12 inches — Verndale
  • 11.5 inches — Deerwood
  • 11 inches — Aitkin
  • 10.50 inches — Fifty Lakes
  • 10 inches — Brainerd
  • 10 inches — Merrifield 
  • 10 inches — Nimrod
  • 9.8 inches — Pillager
  • 9.7 inches — Crosby
  • 9.5 inches — Jenkins
  • 9 inches — Baxter
  • 9 inches — Pequot Lakes
  • 9 inches — St. Mathias
  • 8 inches — Garrison
  • 4.9 inches — Long Prairie

Snowfall could be higher with light snow falling into the afternoon Sunday, March 12, before tapering off.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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