One for the record books: Wintery mix of rain and snow could push Brainerd to new seasonal snowfall record

If Brainerd gets more than 2 inches from two winter systems expected Thursday through Friday morning, it would set a new season snowfall record for the city.

A weather graphic showing the timing of snow systems in northeastern Minnesota.
This graphic shows the timing of weather systems Thursday through Saturday that could bring a wintry mix of snow and ice to northeastern Minnesota.
Contributed / National Weather Service in Duluth

BRAINERD — Snow and freezing rain is possible Thursday and Friday, with enough snow possible to push the seasonal snow total for Brainerd to a new record.

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A winter weather advisory is in effect 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, through 7 a.m. Friday, with total snow accumulations of 2 inches and ice accumulations of one tenth of an inch possible, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported.

The winter weather advisory covers a large portion of northeast Minnesota, including Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.

The main concern with the storm Thursday into Friday morning is not expected to be snow but freezing rain, said Bryan Howell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. Maybe a half-inch to 1 inch of snow is possible Thursday into Friday for Brainerd, he said, with up to a 10th of an inch of ice could be mixed in.

“The more impactful part of that system will be the ice,” Howell said, noting driving conditions could be hazardous throughout the area.


If Brainerd receives 1 inch of snowfall, it would tie the most snow on record the city has received at 80.6 inches, which was set during the 1996-97 winter season.

The chance to break the 26-year-old record could happen as early as Friday night, Howell said, as another system moves through the Brainerd area with a potential for 2-4 inches of snow.

Another record also fell Thursday morning, when the temperature in Brainerd dropped to 10 degrees below zero, besting the previous record low temperature for March 29 of 2 degrees in 1954. The high temperature record for March 29 is 76 degrees in 2021, according to records going back to 1898 kept by the National Weather Service in Duluth.

A break in winter weather is expected Saturday through Monday, with high temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s possible, though wind gusts 20-25 mph are possible. However, a chance of snow possibly mixed with more rain is in the forecast Monday night through Wednesday.

MATT ERICKSON, Editor, may be reached at or 218-855-5857.

Matt Erickson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 2000 as a reporter, covering crime and courts and the city of Brainerd. In 2012 he was promoted to night editor and in 2014 was promoted to editor of the newspaper.
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