Leap Day Snowstorm and Blizzard: Feb 28-29, 2012

MNDOT Traffic Camera Showing car stuck on the morning of February 29, 2012
MNDOT Traffic Camera Showing car stuck on the morning of February 29, 2012

 

The last two days Meteorological Winter brought real winter to Minnesota with up to a foot of snow and plenty of badly needed precipitation.

Winter returned in a big way to Minnesota, with the most significant precipitation event in the state since August 2011. The storm developed over Colorado during the day on February 28 and then moved northeastward. By the morning of the 29th the low pressure system was centered over southwest Minnesota. There was plenty of moisture with this storm, with many places in southern Minnesota reporting from one to almost two inches of precipitation, mostly in the form of rain. Faribault had the highest total found so far with 2.23 inches of precipitation. St. Peter had 2.01 inches.

The bulk of the moisture surged to the north across southern Minnesota during the evening hours of February 28th in the form of sleet and rain, with rain freezing on contact on exposed surfaces. As the band of precipitation moved to the north of the Twin Cities the precipitation changed over to snow. During the nighttime hours the rain and sleet changed to snow across the Twin Cities. Some spots in Anoka and Northern Hennepin County received a half foot of snow, amounts tapered off to the south across the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. As of the morning of February 29th, 7.5 inches fell at Andover in Anoka. farther south, Fridley had 5 inches. The St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota had 3.1 inches and 2.0 inches of snow was measured at the Twin Cities International Airport.

The largest snow totals statewide were across central Minnesota in a band from Alexandria to Grantsburg Wisconsin where up to a foot of snow had fallen as of the morning of February 29th. Scores of schools cancelled class north of the Twin Cities and in outstate Minnesota. The highest totals in Minnesota were in northern Pine County.

The storm became a full-fledged blizzard in Duluth by sunrise on February 29, with visibilities dropping to near zero with heavy snow. Winds were averaging 45mph with gusts to 55mph in the Duluth area with gusts to 68mph on elevated bridges and roads in the Downtown Duluth area.

Listed below is a Public Information State from the Duluth National Weather Service Office.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1110 AM CST THU MAR 1 2012

BELOW ARE SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM THE LEAP DAY 2012 SNOW STORM. THE
SNOW BEGAN IN THE EVENING ACROSS SOUTHERN AREAS OF THE
NORTHLAND...AND IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS ACROSS THE NORTH. SNOW
BEGAIN ALONG THE NORTH SHORE AND ARROWHEAD AAROUND MID MORNING. MOST
OF THE SNOW FELL IN 24 HOURS OR LESS.


SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

 INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
 20.00   4 W CLAM LAKE            WI  BURNETT          1037 AM
 20.00   18 E HINCKLEY            MN  PINE             1200 AM
 19.00   3 N BUTTERNUT            WI  ASHLAND          1246 PM
 18.00   CORNUCOPIA               WI  BAYFIELD         0424 PM
 17.00   5 SW PHILLIPS            WI  PRICE            0200 PM
 17.00   WINTER                   WI  SAWYER           0839 AM
                 4 TO 6 FOOT DRIFTS.
 16.70   PARK FALLS               WI  PRICE            1130 AM
 16.50   SARONA                   WI  WASHBURN         0500 PM
 16.50   2 N FIFIELD              WI  PRICE            1012 AM
 16.00   EXELAND                  WI  SAWYER           0955 PM
 16.00   8 S HAYWARD              WI  SAWYER           0730 PM
 16.00   4 SE PARK FALLS          WI  PRICE            0900 AM
 15.80   4 S BRUNO                MN  PINE             0900 AM
 15.50   4 SSW BRUNO              MN  PINE             0530 PM
 15.50   5 SW PHILLIPS            WI  PRICE            0731 AM
 15.30   2 W HAYWARD              WI  SAWYER           0500 PM
 15.10   ASHLAND                  WI  ASHLAND          1016 PM
 15.00   BEAVER BAY               MN  LAKE             0810 AM
 15.00   3 S ASHLAND              WI  ASHLAND          0645 PM
                 STILL SNOWING
 15.00   3 S ASHLAND              WI  ASHLAND          0500 PM
 15.00   13 NW WEBSTER            MN  PINE             0347 PM
 15.00   PRENTICE                 WI  PRICE            0200 PM
 15.00   BENOIT                   WI  BAYFIELD         1238 PM
 14.50   4 N GRANTSBURG           WI  BURNETT          1110 AM
                 7 INCHES SINCE 730 AM.
 14.50   8 S HAYWARD              WI  SAWYER           1200 AM
 14.30   SHELL LAKE               WI  WASHBURN         1055 AM
 14.00   1 N SPOONER              WI  WASHBURN         1200 PM
 14.00   SHELL LAKE               WI  WASHBURN         1050 AM
 13.90   4 E CORNUCOPIA           WI  BAYFIELD         0747 PM
 13.50   5 SW CABLE               WI  SAWYER           0800 AM
 13.00   10 S SUPERIOR            WI  DOUGLAS          0714 AM
 13.00   MASON                    WI  BAYFIELD         0830 PM
 13.00   OULU                     WI  BAYFIELD         0500 PM
 13.00   5 N WEBSTER              WI  BURNETT          0900 AM
 13.00   12 NE WEBSTER            WI  BURNETT          0853 AM
 13.00   2 W HAYWARD              WI  SAWYER           0830 AM
 13.00   12 W DRUMMOND            WI  BAYFIELD         1200 AM
                 IN TOWN OF BARNES
 12.70   MADELINE ISLAND          WI  ASHLAND          1037 AM
 12.40   4 W WASHBURN             WI  BAYFIELD         0730 PM
 12.00   MAPLE                    WI  DOUGLAS          0710 AM
 12.00   MASON                    WI  BAYFIELD         1220 PM
 12.00   ASKOV                    MN  PINE             0900 AM
                 VSBY LESS THAN QUARTER MILE
 12.00   GLIDDEN                  WI  ASHLAND          0853 AM
 11.70   4 N GRANTSBURG           WI  BURNETT          0742 AM
 11.50   GILE                     WI  IRON             1037 AM
 11.50   GILE                     WI  IRON             1239 PM
 11.30   WRENSHALL                MN  CARLTON          0810 AM
 11.00   6 NE CLOVERLAND          WI  DOUGLAS          0500 PM
 11.00   SAXON                    WI  IRON             0430 PM
 11.00   MONTREAL                 WI  IRON             0241 PM
 11.00   2 NE MELLEN              WI  ASHLAND          1022 AM
 10.50   5 WSW SOLON SPRINGS      WI  DOUGLAS          0730 PM
 10.50   MAPLE                    WI  DOUGLAS          0147 PM
 10.30   7 NW TWO HARBORS         MN  LAKE             0710 AM
 10.00   SILVER BAY               MN  LAKE             0810 AM
 10.00   1 S SOLON SPRINGS        WI  DOUGLAS          0730 PM
 10.00   1 W GORDON               WI  DOUGLAS          0700 PM
 10.00   POPLAR                   WI  DOUGLAS          0600 PM
 10.00   S NAMEKAGON              WI  BAYFIELD         0530 PM
 10.00   5 N TWO HARBORS          MN  LAKE             0500 PM
 10.00   TRADE LAKE               WI  BURNETT          0427 PM
 10.00   HERBSTER                 WI  BAYFIELD         0200 PM
 10.00   11 N BRULE               WI  DOUGLAS          0120 PM
 10.00   BENNETT                  WI  DOUGLAS          0920 AM
 10.00   PINE CITY                MN  PINE             0840 AM
  9.70   DULUTH                   MN  ST. LOUIS        0637 AM
  9.50   5 NW DULUTH              MN  ST. LOUIS        0600 PM
  9.40   SAXON                    WI  IRON             0851 AM
  9.00   ALBORN                   MN  ST. LOUIS        0540 PM
  9.00   SAGINAW                  MN  ST. LOUIS        0131 PM
  9.00   2 N MELLEN               WI  ASHLAND          0851 AM
  8.90   5 NW DULUTH              MN  ST. LOUIS        0200 PM
                 0.3 INCHES MEASURED IN THE PAST ONE HOUR.
  8.20   UPSON                    WI  IRON             1037 AM
  8.10   BRAINERD                 MN  CROW WING        1015 AM
  8.00   2 NE DULUTH              MN  ST. LOUIS        0231 PM
  8.00   ALBORN                   MN  ST. LOUIS        1025 AM
  7.70   PILLAGER                 MN  CASS             0700 PM
  7.70   12 N ISLE                MN  AITKIN           1232 PM
  7.50   CLOQUET                  MN  CARLTON          0131 PM
  7.50   CLOQUET                  MN  CARLTON          1218 PM
  7.50   2 SSW POPLAR             WI  DOUGLAS          1025 AM
  7.20   MOOSE LAKE               WI  DOUGLAS          0200 PM
  7.00   BRAINERD                 MN  CROW WING        1232 PM
  7.00   TAMARACK                 MN  AITKIN           1130 AM
  6.70   2 S BRIMSON              MN  ST. LOUIS        0830 PM
  6.50   PILLAGER                 MN  CASS             1235 PM
  6.10   HOLYOKE                  MN  CARLTON          0903 AM
  6.00   AITKIN                   MN  AITKIN           1130 AM
  6.00   11 N BRULE               WI  DOUGLAS          1045 AM
  6.00   LEADER                   MN  CASS             0920 AM
                 VSBY LESS THAN 1/4 MILE
  5.80   3 N ILLGEN CITY          MN  LAKE             0714 AM
  5.50   2 E PAYNE                MN  ST. LOUIS        0148 PM
  4.50   PALISADE                 MN  AITKIN           1130 AM
  4.00   MCGREGOR                 MN  AITKIN           0229 PM
  4.00   DEERWOOD                 MN  CROW WING        0150 AM
                 OVER PAST 4 HOURS
  3.70   LITTLE MARAIS            MN  LAKE             0700 PM
  3.50   BALL CLUB                MN  ITASCA           0131 PM
  3.50   WARBA                    MN  ITASCA           1025 AM
  2.50   GRAND RAPIDS             MN  ITASCA           1138 AM
  2.00   PINE RIVER               MN  CASS             0247 PM
  1.30   7 S BIGFORK              MN  ITASCA           0207 PM
  0.80   MCKINLEY                 MN  ST. LOUIS        0228 PM
Last modified: July 9, 2015

 

For more information contact: climate@umn.edu