Brainerd area could see up to a foot of snow this weekend

Will this be the last possible winter storm for 2019? We will have to wait and see.

The National Weather Service in Duluth submitted this graph Thursday afternoon of what is in the forecast for snowfall in the Northland. This graph reports Brainerd may see 10 inches of snow, but the NWS reports Brainerd may see between 6-12 inches of snow.

It seems like a winter that never ends, even though it’s really just getting started.

The snow keeps piling up and before Brainerd lakes area residents say hello to 2020, it appears there may be at least one more notable snowstorm for 2019. Brainerd again appears to be in the middle of where the greatest amount of snow is expected to fall — with a possibility of up to 10-12 inches — coming this weekend, Dec. 28-29.

The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a winter storm watch for the Northland to include the counties of Crow Wing, Cass, Aitkin, Morrison, Wadena and Todd in effect 9 a.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Monday. A strong area of low pressure will lift northeast from the central plains Saturday, before slowly meandering across the Upper Midwest Sunday into Monday.

The storm is expected to bring a prolonged period of precipitation to the Northland, with a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain forecast across a large portion of the area. Heavy accumulating snow will be possible from the North Shore west into the Brainerd lakes and border areas both Saturday and Sunday, with snow likely continuing through the early morning hours Monday.

Forecast models show the storm is likely to hit the Brainerd area after midnight Friday, Dec. 27, with a 30% chance of snowfall. Snow is expected to begin again before 2 p.m. Saturday, possibly mixing with freezing rain. The chance of precipitation is 80%, with temperatures likely to reach a high near 32 degrees and a calm wind of 5 mph. Winds may gust as high as 20 mph.


Saturday night snow may mix with freezing rain before 10 p.m., then snow through 5 a.m. Sunday, to then mix again with freezing rain after 5 a.m. Snow Sunday during the day could be heavy at times, with a forecast high near 30. Monday there is another chance of snow.

Travel is expected to be very difficult at times across Minnesota this weekend and into Monday morning, and people are advised not to drive if possible. The weather service reported a high confidence in the storm system affecting the region but the exact track of the storm, which will determine how much snow falls and when, remains in question as of Thursday.

The weather service expects a heavy mix of precipitation, with total snow accumulations of 5-10 inches and ice accumulations of up to one-tenth of an inch possible. The heavier snowfall of 6-12 inches is possible from the Brainerd lakes area to the western Iron Range and Koochiching County and along the North and South shores of Lakes Superior. Winds are expected to gust as high as 40 mph. Ice accumulation could lead to power outages, the weather service reported, so people are encouraged to be prepared with emergency kits at home. The weather service also advised awareness of downed trees and limbs, as well as power lines.

So far this fall and winter, the Brainerd area has seen 18.8 inches of snow — 10 inches above normal for this time of year.

December temperature facts

The lowest temperature so far in Brainerd this month was 24 below zero Dec. 18 and the highest was 40 degrees Dec. 22.

Brainerd folks felt a warmer Christmas Day this year, as it was 35 degrees, compared to the normal temperature of 21 degrees. The record high on Christmas Day in Brainerd is 43 degrees in 1994 and 1999 and the record low is 32 below zero, which occurred in 1968.

Winter driving safety

  • Clear snow and ice from windows and lights.

  • Brake early. Leave twice the amount of room for stopping.

  • Don’t use cruise control in wintry conditions.

  • Don’t cut in front of other vehicles.

  • Take it slow. Delay travel if feasible.

  • Go to for the latest road conditions.

What To Read Next
Get Local