Sunday snowfall puts this winter into No. 1 spot
Winter season has most snowfall since 1948. Flood warnings remain in effect for area cities on the Mississippi River
BRAINERD — The winter of 2022-2023 wasn’t going to quit without getting the last word and into the record books.
Sunday, April 16, it did just that.
With Sunday’s snowfall, this winter officially is ranked No. 1 or king of the hill for snowiest winter season in the Brainerd area going back to about 1948. The National Weather Service received a report from its Brainerd Coop observer by 3 p.m. Sunday of 4 inches of snow in Brainerd for a seasonal total, as of that hour, of 84.3 inches. The snowfall also surpassed the 3 inches of snow listed for the largest snowfall on April 16 going back to 1939.
- 2022-2023 with 84.3 inches of snow,
- 1996-1997 with 80.6 inches,
- 1988-1989 with 79.4 inches,
- 2021-2022 with 77.3 inches,
- 1968-1969 with 75.3 inches,
- 2017-2018 with 73.5 inches,
- 2012-2013 with 73 inches,
- 2018-2019 with 71.9 inches,
- 1970-1971 with 71.3 inches,
- 1964-1965 with 70 inches.
Source: National Weather Service Duluth
HOWEVER, also at 3PM we have received a supplementary observation from our Brainerd COOP observer and they have seen 4.0" since 7AM, breaking their all-time record! Congrats to Brainerd! ❄️🥇 pic.twitter.com/bNvE2rXGQc— NWS Duluth (@NWSduluth) April 16, 2023
Central Minnesota residents may be feeling a little neck pain Sunday after waking to find winter returned with heavy, wet snow and gusting winds in a weather whiplash from clear lawns, blue skies and 75 degrees Friday. The normal high for this time of year is 54 degrees.
On Sunday, robins huddled in pine tree branches perhaps regretting flying north in expectations of spring. A rain-filled Saturday took a turn overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing before 3 a.m. Heavy snow fell during the morning hours and continued throughout the day with light snow ending before 6 p.m. Winds gusted into the upper 30s throughout the day.
While the snow from this storm ended in central Minnesota, the storm was expected to drop significant snow farther east, with the potential for about 20 inches of snow in northern Wisconsin with blizzard conditions forecast in Wisconsin.
Crow Wing, Aitkin and Morrison counties were in a winter weather advisory, with a winter storm warning to the east for the Arrowhead region and Wisconsin. For the Brainerd lakes region, the snowfall was expected to come to an end Sunday night but heavy snowfall was forecast to continue to the east into Monday with snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour or more.
Ketzel Levens, meteorologist NWS Duluth, spoke during a webinar Sunday afternoon for a weather briefing. Aitkin, Brainerd and Fort Ripley remain in a flood warning for the Mississippi River. The weather service urged caution for anyone walking near the riverbanks and again warned against driving through flooded areas where the roadbed can be washed away and the danger not readily visible to motorists.
The Mississippi River in Aitkin is at moderate flood stage and is expected to remain elevated for some time, Levens said.
The Mississippi River will continue to increase through the weekend and is expected to remain high through the foreseeable future, the weather service reported Sunday afternoon.
In addition to the flooding concerns, the National Weather Service noted the strong winds out of the north/northwest, coming on top of rain and wet snow, may make trees more susceptible to falling with the saturated soils. The strongest wind with this storm was expected Sunday afternoon and overnight into Monday with peak wind gusts in the Brainerd area reaching near 40 mph.
“We're not expecting to stay super cold for a long period of time,” Levens said.
Levens said with highs rising above freezing the water content in the heavy snow will add to waterways already overflowing their banks. Most rivers are going up and are expected to remain high, especially the Mississippi River, Levens said.
And the wet weather isn’t done yet. Another round of precipitation is in the forecast later this week and Levens said the next storm system could be similar to Sunday’s weather with rain, wintry mix and possibly snow.
The forecast calls for sunny skies Monday with a high near 48 degrees and dropping down to about 21 degrees overnight. Daytime highs are expected to rise into the 50s for Tuesday. Rain is likely Wednesday with a chance of rain and snow Thursday and snow likely Friday. A chance for more snow continues Saturday.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.