Snowstorm swipes lakes region, adds to snow abundance

Heaviest snowfall strikes to the south and east. City of Brainerd issues snow emergency for early Thursday morning snow removal.

College Drive Bridge on snowy night.
Vehicles cross the College Drive Bridge in Brainerd Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, as heavy snow moves into the area.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — While it may seem to be snowing nonstop, the snowfall in the region didn’t pack a wallop from this latest storm system.

The storm cut across southern Minnesota and through the Twin Cities, dropping up to 27 inches in South Dakota, 14 inches in southern Minnesota and ranged from about 7 inches to more than a foot of snow across the Twin Cities and in the Duluth area.

The National Weather Service winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday. The weather advisory noted snow and patchy freezing drizzle were part of the storm, meaning ice accumulations could bring a light glaze from Pine River and Brainerd through Hinckley and into Wisconsin.

By 9 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported 4-6 inches of snow had fallen across most of Morrison, Crow Wing and Aitkin counties and northern Mille Lacs County, with 6-8 inches of snow in southern Mille Lacs County. Lighter amounts of snow of a trace to 3 inches were reported across Cass and Wadena counties and most of Todd County.

If it has seemed like a busy snow season this month in the region, it has been. Duluth broke a December snowfall record just before the new year with 44.9 inches of snow, besting the old record of 44.3 inches from 1950. Official snowfall records are no longer in place in the Brainerd area since 2020 to provide a complete picture of those winter records here.


Regional snow totals

Reported to the National Weather Service by early afternoon Wednesday while it was still snowing, so totals from the snowstorm will likely increase.

  • 7.5 inches — Pine River
  • 7 inches — Breezy Point
  • 7 inches — Little Falls
  • 7 inches — Pine Center
  • 6.9 inches — Brainerd
  • 6.7 inches — near Camp Ripley
  • 6.5 inches — Crosslake
  • 6.5 inches — St. Mathias
  • 6 inches — Jenkins

Snow emergency

The city of Brainerd declared a snow emergency Wednesday afternoon because of the additional snow falling after snow was plowed Wednesday morning, noting additional snow was expected into Wednesday night.

Brainerd reported snow removal will again take place in the Downtown Business District with street, sidewalk, and parking lot snow clearing and removal starting at 3 a.m. Thursday. To make way for the snow removal, at 3 a.m. Thursday parking will be banned on the following streets:

  • Front Street from South Sixth to South Eighth streets,
  • Laurel Street from South Sixth to South Eighth streets,
  • South Seventh Street from Maple to Front streets.

The city reported, generally, the snow removal on Thursday will take place beginning on the streets and sidewalks first, followed by the parking lots and parking is banned on streets until they are entirely plowed and the snow removed.
“Once snow has been removed from the block, vehicles can utilize the on-street parking,” the city stated. “All vehicles parked during this restriction will be ticketed and towed at the Owner’s expense.”

For more information on snow emergencies, visit the city of Brainerd’s website at .


Read more
Memorial Day weekend provides more of a lakes area rarity -- hot temps and no rain.
Lexington Manufacturing celebrates 25 years in Brainerd on June 1.
The companies mini oven has glowing remarks from customers across retail sites.

Sun deprivation ending

For those missing the sun, there is hope in the forecast. Mostly sunny skies return Thursday with a high temperature forecast to reach 18 degrees. Temperatures for the week, weekend and into next week are expected to be typical of January with highs in the 20s and overnight lows ranging from the single digits to teens — the type of temperatures that seem comfortable when there is little to no wind.

The forecast calls for calm conditions or a southerly breeze of 5 mph. The wind isn’t expected to increase until the middle of next week when the high also is anticipated to move closer to 30 degrees and the southeast wind may rise to 5-10 degrees with gusts as high as 15 mph.

After the snowfall ends Wednesday night, there is no snow in the forecast for the next seven days.

“It has been a busy last two months weather-wise!” the National Weather Service in Duluth tweeted, noting the number of watches, warnings and advisories the weather service issued since early November. “Our meteorologists are a bit tired from so much active weather, and excited for some high pressure!”

Lee Britt, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said after the low pressure system moves out the sun will be back for many people as the skies clear out Thursday afternoon. Britt said the high pressure, with its sinking air, generally suppresses weather as storms, winter or summer, need lift and moisture.

Britt said temperatures should be about average for this time of year through the weekend and after an active weather period, a break is in store.

“It definitely looks quiet and no major systems coming through,” Britt said. “We’ll have a nice break, finally.”


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.
What To Read Next
Get Local