Spring arrives with chance of snow, rain for Brainerd lakes area

The weather service’s forecast calls for 2-4 inches of snow Tuesday, with wind gusts up to 20-25 mph. Rain is possible Wednesday.

A graphic showing the forecast for the next three days.
Contributed / National Weather Service in Duluth

BRAINERD — Sure, the calendar says spring starts Monday, March 20, but that doesn’t mean winter is quite ready to release its grasp on the Brainerd lakes area.

That’s right, it’s another week with another chance at snow.

Actually, it will probably be a wintery mix of rain and snow, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth — starting as snow Tuesday and Tuesday night, transitioning to rain and snow Wednesday and Wednesday night before moving back to snow Thursday.

The weather service’s forecast calls for 2-4 inches of snow Tuesday, with wind gusts up to 20-25 mph.

“It is March,” said Linda Engebretson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. “For northern Minnesota, it’s still winter.”


Engebretson said rain Wednesday won’t be a repeat of the precipitation the area received Thursday, March 16, when whipping winds and blowing snow caused reduced visibility and ice-encrusted roads. The police scanner last Thursday noted multiple vehicles in the ditch with single vehicle rollovers included.

“There won’t be as much rain (Wednesday) as with this last one,” she said.

The heaviest bands of snow last Thursday fell on a diagonal line from southwest Minnesota through St. Cloud and on to Grand Marais on the North Shore. The largest snow totals, 8-12 inches, came from the snowbelt of Wisconsin just south of Lake Superior. The Brainerd area received anywhere from 2-4 inches of snow in that event.

How much snow, if any, the area could receive this coming Thursday is still to be determined.

“There’s a chance, but that can change,” Engebretson said.

Temperatures for the upcoming week will start cooler Monday with a high of 31 degrees, before increasing into the upper 30s by the end of the week, according to the weather service’s forecast.

And on a positive note, the power of the sun this time of year is comparable to September, Engebretson said — a time of year when sunburns are possible.

“The warming sun makes a big difference on melting the snow. It puts a lot of power on that snow,” she said.


Thursday, March 16, snowfall totals

6.4 inches — Onamia,

6 inches — Malmo,

5 inches — Little Falls,

3.6 inches — South Long Lake,

2.5 inches — Crosby,

2.3 inches — Merrifield,

2.3 inches — Fort Ripley,


2 inches — Baxter,

2 inches — Brainerd.

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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