Between Thursday and Friday, Dec. 27 - 28, the Brainerd Lakes area received the greatest recorded snowfall for the month of December during a 48-hour period, making it the seventh largest recorded snowfall of all-time.
According to meteorologist Kirsten Chaney with the National Weather Service in Duluth, the region accumulated an average of 12.6 inches of snow by Friday evening. The National Weather Service receives snowfall reports from a combination of trained volunteers and members of the public calling in across towns.
Reports this week came from Nisswa, Pelican Lake and Pine River. Chaney said that these reports can be inconsistent across the years, so the nearest concrete historical data comes from Brainerd. Last week's storm was ranked as the greatest 48-hour snowfall in December compared National Weather Service's climate records dating back to 1908.
On top of the record-setting precipitation, another round of snow fell Monday morning. In Nisswa and Pine River, Chaney said a little over two inches were reported. However, a report east of Pelican Lake measured seven inches of fresh snow.
While this winter white-out did keep many people inside, it also encouraged outdoorsmen and women to get active outside. Many heavily used trails cross frozen lakes and even more fishers ventured out onto the ice when the snow hit.
Cass County sheriff Tom Burch said that his department does get a little busier when weather events occur. There can be a slight increase of vehicles stuck on roads or sliding on icy patches, but nothing drastic.
"People generally stay close to home when roads conditions are unsafe," said Sheriff Tom Burch of Cass County. "But I would encourage people who do go out to use extreme caution if they are going out on the ice."
Burch said that lots of snow on ice, especially when there aren't ideal ice conditions to begin with, can make things more dangerous and cause more water on the ice. Snow acts as an insulator, so the ice below may paradoxically take longer to freeze than if there was no snow.
If anyone does decide to partake in recreation on the ice, Burch said, it's important that someone else is informed in case something does go wrong.
"Ice is never 100 percent safe," he said.
As winter trudges on, only time will tell if this unusual snowfall will become the norm.