One of the forecasted threats with this week's late-season winter storm was near-hurricane-force wind gusts, creating the potential of lakeshore flooding along Lake Superior and blizzard conditions as wind combined with snow and mixed precipitation.

People across the Northland felt those strong winds Tuesday, with visible and noticeable effects including blown-over garbage cans, downed tree branches, and power outages across the region.

Today's gusty winds blew in ice along the Lake Superior shoreline in Duluth and Superior, providing some cushion to Lake Superior's incessant blow of waves, alleviating some of the concerns about lakeshore flooding in areas like Canal Park, which is good news considering just how windy it has been through the day.

When it comes to top-recorded wind gusts, the numbers have been pretty crazy. The top recorded wind gust was captured at the Duluth International Airport, coming in just shy of what is considered a hurricane-force wind gust!

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Now, keep in mind that these numbers are wind gusts and not sustained winds. The Duluth National Weather Service office shared Tuesday evening a measurement of sustained wind of 38 MPH at the Duluth Airport, which is on the high end of what weather experts call "near gale force wind".

That designation covers wind between 32-38 MPH, with 39-46 MPH being considered "gale force". While gusts have reached way beyond this today, seeing sustained wind near 40 mph is still pretty intense!

So, how high have winds gusted up on Tuesday across the Northland? Here are the crazy numbers:

Recorded Top Wind Gusts Around The Northland Tuesday, April 4, 2023

  • Duluth International Airport - 68 MPH
  • Thompson Hill (Duluth, MN) - 61 MPH
  • Duluth Sky Harbor Airport (Park Point) - 61 MPH
  • Duluth Harbor - 57 MPH
  • Silver Bay, MN - 57 MPH
  • Garfield Avenue (Duluth, MN) - 55 MPH
  • Blatnik Bridge - 54 MPH
  • Devils Island - 54 MPH
  • Two Harbors Airport - 52 MPH
  • Grand Marais, MN - 51 MPH
  • Lakeside Duluth, MN - 50 MPH
  • Two Harbors, MN - 48 MPH
  • Superior, WI Airport - 46 MPH
  • Hermantown, MN - 46 MPH
  • Ashland, WI Airport - 46 MPH
  • Tamarack, MN - 44 MPH
  • Esko, MN - 44 MPH
  • Twig, MN - 43 MPH
  • Cloquet, MN Airport - 43 MPH
  • Isle, MN - 42 MPH
  • Port Wing, WI - 41 MPH
  • Cotton, MN - 37 MPH
  • McGrath, MN - 36 MPH
  • Gowan, MN - 35 MPH
  • Isabella, MN - 34 MPH
  • Solon Springs, WI - 33 MPH
  • Moose Lake, MN - 32 MPH
  • McGregor, MN - 32 MPH
  • Aitkin, MN - 32 MPH

Duluth is also creeping up the list of snowiest winters on record. As of 7 pm Tuesday, the National Weather Service is reporting 1.9 inches of snow so far from this storm. This puts Duluth's season-long snowfall total at 130.9 inches for the season. That advances this winter to 4th snowiest ever, with more snow expected to fall before the storm is over. We now stand only 4.5 inches from tying for the snowiest winter ever recorded in Duluth!

The 15 Snowiest Winters On Record In Duluth History

Since the National Weather Service began keeping weather records in Duluth in the late 1800s, here are the 15 winters with the highest snowfall totals on historical record.

It is worth noting that the official records from 1941-today have been recorded at the area now known as the Duluth International Airport (away from the lake, on top of the hill). Before then, various locations closer to Lake Superior had been used for official weather recording data. For anyone that knows anything about how Lake Superior and the hill play a role in temperature and snow, you can see how this makes older records inherently different.

While these records note the "snowiest winters", they actually include all seasonal snowfall from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

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