Fresh powder falls across the state

It was light and fluffy, but it added up as snowfall reports to the National Weather Service covered most of the state. Local totals ranged from 3 inches to 6.5 inches of fresh powder as 2020 draws to a close.

Donny Meyer powers his snowmobile in the Crow Wing County Road 49 road ditch Wednesday, Dec. 30, after 5 inches of fresh snow fell overnight. With each small snowfall, winter sports enthusiasts are beginning to have the snow base needed for good trail conditions. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

The snow fell heavily at times Tuesday night, Dec. 29, but ended in the early morning hours Wednesday, dropping 5 inches in Brainerd to leave a fresh sparking mantle.

The dry snow, fluffy and light, made for relatively easy shoveling and, unlike an Alberta Clipper, the temperatures didn’t drop to subzero conditions in the snowfall’s aftermath.

In fact, mild weather should usher in the new year. New Year’s Day temperatures are expected to be above average, at least according to the weather data. The forecast calls for a high of 25 degrees beneath mostly sunny skies with just a hint of a southern breeze expected that will drop to calm conditions in the afternoon.

New Year’s Eve is expected to reach 23 degrees for the high with a south wind and possible gusts as high as 15 mph. The breeze overnight, with gusts as high as 20 mph, will make it seem a bit more crisp than the 10 degree low would provide by itself.

The week ahead looks uneventful according to the National Weather Service detailed forecast. Temperatures are expected to rise to 27 degrees Saturday and 32 degrees Sunday. It should be even warmer, climbing to about 34 degrees Monday and then staying in the low 30s for daytime highs through Wednesday.


New Year’s Day can be bitterly cold. The record stands at 38 degrees below zero on Jan. 1, 1979.

2020 started on a mild note with a high of 30 on the first day of the year.

The normal high temperature at this time of year is 21 degrees.

Snow totals from Dec. 29-30

Snowfall totals are either in or near the cities listed from the National Weather Service snowfall report during the last 24 hours.


  • 6.5 inches — Ironton

  • 6.1 inches — Nisswa

  • 6 inches — Baxter

  • 5.9 inches — Breezy Point

  • 5.8 inches — Pillager

  • 5.8 inches — Verndale

  • 5.5 inches — Crosslake

  • 5.3 inches — Crosby

  • 5.3 Inches — Motley

  • 5.2 inches — Aitkin

  • 5 inches — Brainerd

  • 5 inches — Pine River

  • 4.7 inches — Fort Ripley

  • 4.1 inches — Bertha

  • 4.1 inches — Long Prairie

  • 3.7 inches — Onamia

  • 3 inches — Little Falls

Snow nearly covered the state, with the highest reported amount of 8 inches reported just north of Knife River on the North Shore -- part of a little corridor near Duluth and extending up the North Shore. Aside from a pocket around Brainerd and one outlier of 6.6 inches in Barrett, west of Alexandria, snowfall totals of 4-6 inches were common across the state.
The storm dropped a foot of snow in a line across Iowa into Wisconsin and Illinois.

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