Last winter, Duluth reported the snowiest winter on record with just under 12 feet of snow falling during the season. No surprise to anyone, this winter has been vastly different so far. I think we all know that on a surface level, but seeing the actual numbers is wild!

The winter of 2022-2023 around much of Northern Minnesota saw record levels of snowfall, kicked off by some early-season snow events accented by a big December storm that brought a hefty amount to the Twin Ports area.

As the season kept moving along, we added additional snow, and piece by piece, we reached the record-setting total of 140.1 inches of snow in Duluth - which eclipsed the previous record of 135.4 inches set in the winter of 1995-1996.

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The winter of 2023-2024 has been nearly the opposite on the snow spectrum. While we've received precipitation (including that heavy, soaking rain over Christmas), the amount of snow so far this winter in the Twin Ports has been limited to under two feet of total snow. For reference, we got more snow in that December 2022 storm (22.7 inches) than we have all season so far.

READ MORE: What are the 15 snowiest winters on record in Duluth?

The National Weather Service published a graphic on Monday, showing the stark difference in snow-to-date for Duluth through January 22. By this time last year, we had received 75.2 inches of snow, which is well above the roughly 48-inch average (shown in the brown line on the chart) we normally have by this time of year. Then, there's this year.

The Duluth office of the National Weather Service is reporting a skimpy 16.9 inches of snow through January 22, which is about equally below normal as last year's total was above normal. That's a massive 58.3 inches less snow right now than we got by this time last year!

Duluth National Weather Service
Duluth National Weather Service

With a stretch of warm weather expected into the start of February and no indications of any significant precipitation for the next couple of weeks, we remain on pace to go from the snowiest winter on record last year to the least snowy winter on record this year.

Now, it is worth noting that there's still a lot of winter ahead. A couple of bigger snowstorms would quickly eat away at those least-snowy winter chances, but things don't look to change anytime soon.

Here's a look at the least-snowy winters on record in Duluth:

The 15 Least Snowy 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 lowest 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 "least snowy winters", they actually include all seasonal snowfall from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Snowiest Cities & Towns In Minnesota

What Minnesota cities get the most snow each winter? Here are the 20 snowiest Minnesota towns according to data from NOAA spanning from 1991-2020.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper

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