Duluth Is Incredibly Close To Having The Snowiest Winter Ever This Year
The winter of 2022-2023 keeps creeping up the historical ranks for snowfall for Duluth, and many other places around Minnesota. Like it or not, it is quite possible we could achieve the record of snowiest winter ever recorded in the Zenith City by the time the last snowflakes of the season fly.
As of 7 am Wednesday morning (March 23), the Duluth office of the National Weather Service has recorded 125.4 inches of snow so far this season. That's good for 6th snowiest winter on record for the city.
That said, how far away are we from seeing this winter atop that list? Surprisingly, not all that far.
This March has been a snowy one!
As of this morning's snow update from the Duluth NWS office, Duluth has seen the 3rd snowiest March on record, with 32 inches of snow recorded so far this month. According to data from the Duluth NWS office, we still stand 16.2 inches from having the snowiest March on record, but we're actually closer than that to the full-season record.
MORE: Believe it or not, March isn't Minnesota's snowiest month of the year - here's what is
Here's a quick peek at the years with the most snow during the month of March:
Top years for March snowfall in Duluth
- 1917: 48.2 inches
- 1965: 45.5 inches
- 2023: 32 inches
- 1891: 31 inches
- 1975: 30.3 inches
- 2002: 29.7 inches
- 1913: 29.1 inches
- 1966: 27.5 inches
- 1985: 26.7 inches
- 1976: 26.4 inches
If this trend continues, it won't take too long for us to break the season-long snowfall record for Duluth.
How did we get to where we are this winter?
In a chart produced by the Duluth NWS today, you can see the path by which we got to where we are. The chart shows historically high snowfall years, compared to normal snowfall (which is the blue line). This year, charted in red, shows just how quickly this winter got off to a snowy start, and shows one other interesting factor.
If you look at the red line, notice that where it ends, it is higher than any other of the plotted lines from years past. What does that mean? It means this winter so far beats all other recorded winters in snowfall through today's date. Moreover, it sets us on a pace to potentially achieve the new top spot in snowy winter history.
How close is this winter to being the snowiest ever recorded for Duluth?
In short? We're under a foot away from a new record. Again, we currently sit in 6th place, with plenty of snowy season potentially ahead. Duluth's average last measurable snowfall is April 26, which means we have over a month to possibly add on to where we stand today.
Here's how far we are from climbing up the history ladder from where we stand as of this morning:
How much more snow Duluth needs to climb up the snowiest winter ladder:
- To climb to 5th snowiest winter, we need 2.9 inches
- To climb to 4th snowiest winter, we need 4.1 inches
- To climb to 3rd snowiest winter, we need 5.7 inches
- To climb to 2nd snowiest winter, we need 6.5 inches
- To climb to snowiest winter on record, we need 10.1 inches
With numbers like that, one good snowstorm (or a couple of smaller snow events) could push this winter to the top of this historical list for Duluth.
For those hoping for more snow to chase the record, you might have to wait a while. After the snow system we had overnight and into Wednesday morning moves out, there aren't any notable precipitation chances until mid-to-late next week. Temperatures are also expected to climb into the mid to upper 30s, which might cut down on the amount of snow we could get, rather falling as freezing rain, rain, or some other form of precipitation - depending on the time of day it falls.
We'll have to see if we climb any higher on the historical snowfall list for Duluth, but we're pretty close at this point and the season isn't quite over yet.