Northland Snowfall Totals from December 29-30, 2020; Gusty Winds possible along the North Shore tonight; mainly dry through this weekend

Last night’s snow event was an overachiever in some parts of the Northland, this was especially true near Lake Superior where widespread 5-6″+ snow totals were reported, including nearly a foot of snow near Cornucopia, and nearly 8″ of snow reported in the Two Harbors area. Totals in Duluth were right around 5 to 6 inches. For the record, I did mention in my blog post last evening the possibility for there to be isolated 5″ totals across the area, but I did not expect there to be so many locations that reported 5″ or more of snow last night, so yeah I’m a little surprised about that. All about the fluff factor, large snowflakes accumulate very efficiently.

December 29-30, 2020 snowfall total at the Duluth Airport was 5.3″ with 0.29″ of precipitation. Snow to liquid ratio was 18:1 in Duluth which was what the computer models were showing for this event, so that’s always nice to see. By the way, the snow to liquid ratio in Duluth was a whopping 32:1 for today (since Midnight) with 2.9″ of snow, melted down to 0.09″ of liquid precipitation, that’s an incredible ratio! A very fluffy snowfall.

The pattern ahead at least for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin looks pretty quiet thru this weekend, and possibly into next week as well, but there are a few systems to keep an eye on for next week, but so far there is no consistency on storm tracks per model data (shocking I know)

Note: A month that started out very dry in the Northland has turned quite snowy during the second half of December, but snowfall totals for the month continue to run slightly below normal at Duluth (-1.0″), and slightly above normal at International Falls (+0.8″)

…Snowfall Stats for Duluth, Minnesota…

  • 16.1″ of snow so far this month (-1.0″ below normal to date)
  • 47.3″ of snow so far this season (+14.1″ above normal to date)
  • 5 one-inch or greater snowfall events this month, average in December is 4 one-inch or greater snowfall events.

Snowfall Reports from December 29-30, 2020


  • 3 S Cornucopia, WI: 11.5″
  • 4 WNW Red Cliff, WI: 10.0″
  • 2 SW Bayfield, WI: 10.0″
  • 3 E Sand Bay, WI: 9.0″
  • 1 SE Cornucopia, WI: 8.9″
  • 2 SW Two Harbors, MN: 7.5″
  • 1 SSE Two Harbors, MN: 7.3″
  • 4 NW Palmers, MN: 7.0″
  • 1 SSE Oulu, WI: 6.8″
  • 3 WSW Shaw, MN: 6.2″
  • 1 NW Baxter, MN: 6.0″
  • 2 NNW Gary New Duluth, MN: 6.0″
  • 3 SW Lester Park, MN: 6.0″
  • 5 NE Rice Lake, MN: 6.0″
  • 1 NW Washburn, WI: 6.0″
  • Knife River, MN: 6.0″
  • Danbury, WI: 6.0″
  • Solon Springs, WI: 6.0″
  • 2 N Pillager, MN: 5.8″
  • Silver Bay, MN: 5.8″
  • 1 W Solon Springs, WI: 5.6″
  • 1 NNE Duluth, MN (Central Hillside) 5.5″
  • 3 W Lester Park (Woodland Duluth, MN) 5.5″
  • 1 N Pleasant Valley, MN: 5.5″
  • 1 NW Motley, MN: 5.3″
  • Gile, WI: 5.3″
  • 3 SSE South Range, WI: 5.3″
  • 4 W Grand Marais, MN: 5.3″
  • Duluth Airport: 5.3″
  • 3 NNW Mahtowa, MN: 5.2″
  • 3 E Payne, MN: 5.0″
  • 1 WNW Brainerd, MN: 5.0″
  • 1 NE West Duluth, MN: 5.0″
  • Mahtowa, MN: 5.0″
  • Wrenshall, MN: 4.9″
  • 1 N Cloquet, MN: 4.7″
  • Ashland, WI: 4.7″
  • 1 E Superior, WI: 4.7″
  • Kettle River, MN: 4.5″
  • 1 SW Grantsburg, WI: 4.5″
  • 3 N Amnicon Falls S.P. 4.4″
  • 4 NNE Stone Lake, WI: 4.3″
  • 1 ENE Hoyt Lakes, MN: 4.0″
  • Mckinley, MN: 4.0″
  • 1 WNW Cass Lake, MN: 4.0″
  • Cook, MN: 4.0″
  • 7 SSW Grand Rapids, MN: 3.9″
  • 6 NE Patzau, WI: 3.0″
  • 4 SSE Webster, WI: 3.0″
  • Grand Rapids, MN: 3.0″
  • Keewatin, MN: 2.9″
  • Hovland, MN: 2.6″
  • International Falls, MN: 1.9″

Strong wind gusts could develop along the North Shore tonight with potential for 30-45+ mph wind gusts for a few hours from mid to late evening.

21z HRRR model forecast ending 3 AM Thursday.


Note: January is typically our coldest month of the year in Duluth, but the first week or so of January 2021 looks rather balmy!

Look at this temperature forecast for Duluth, Minnesota! No arctic air at least for the next 10 days, enjoy!


Yes, it has been a warm December in Duluth and throughout the Northland!

22 days (76% of days) have had an above average temperature in Duluth vs. only 7 days (24%) that have been below average so far this month.

Red=Above average temperature

Blue=Below average temperature


December 2020 Average Temperature and Departure from Normal (thru the 29th)

Note: The brief shots of arctic air over the last week or so have knocked the average temps out of a top 10 warmest December on record.

Ashland: 22.8 F; +4.1 degrees above normal
Brainerd: 20.5 F; +4.9 degrees above normal
Duluth: 20.2 F; +5.2 degrees above normal
International Falls: 17.5 F; +7.4 degrees above normal
Hibbing: 16.3 F; +4.7 degrees above normal

It’s been an odd La Nina up to this point, with the pattern since November resembling an El Nino more than what a typical La Nina pattern would look like.

The next big storm will pass well south of the Northland as it tracks from northern Mexico to western Ohio through Saturday morning (orange line on map) while another strong low nearing the Pacific northwest this afternoon weakens as it heads east.

Water vapor loop from Wednesday, December 29, 2020 (loop time 3:06 PM to 4:01 PM CT)


Another winter storm is about to hit the Southern and Central Plains over the next 24-36 hours with heavy snow and significant amounts of ice.

The New Year’s Eve storm could also produce some severe weather in parts of southeast Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with an Enhanced (orange) and Slight (yellow) risk for Severe Thunderstorms on Thursday.

All modes of severe weather are possible Thursday, including damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail.


Parts of west Texas could see more than a foot of snow by Friday morning.


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