Heavy snow in the far southwest and southeast, January 7-9, 2024

Minnesota snowfall map
>Estimated snowfall totals through 6 AM on Wednesday January 10, 2024. Courtesy of National Weather Service, Twin Cities/Chanhassen.
Courtesy: Minnesota State Climatology Office

A major winter storm affected parts of the Central Plains and Midwest, brushing the corners of southwestern and southeastern Minnesota.

For the most part, light snow of little consequence spread throughout Minnesota from late on Sunday January 8, into Tuesday January 9, 2024.

Heavier snows streamed over parts of western and especially southwestern Minnesota on Monday and Monday night, as the air mass around the storm moistened. Snowfall rates were occasionally up to an inch per hour at times near Marshall, Worthington, and Pipestone.

After a lull of 6-12 hours lasting into Tuesday, the intensifying cyclone, by then located near the Illinois/Indiana border region, sent a shield of accumulating snow and strong winds northwestward, where it reached into extreme southeastern Minnesota. These snows were not as heavy as the original band of snow, but the winds made for a wintry scene nonetheless.

Snowfall totals in the southwest corner of the state were 6-10 inches, with 9 inches reported by the NWS Cooperative observer near Worthington, and a CoCoRaHS observer in Rock County reporting a state high for the event of 11.8 inches. The high totals cut off sharply to the north and east, with the observer in Marshall and Windom reporting just 4.5 and 3.7 inches, respectively.

In far southeastern Minnesota, Caledonia reported 6.0 inches of snow. The storm largely evaded Minnesota's five major climate stations, with 2.2 inches total observed at both Rochester and St. Cloud, but with Duluth, International Falls, and the Twin Cities all receiving under one inch of snow from the system.

Even with this storm, virtually all of Minnesota is well short of normal for seasonal snowfall. Worthington's snow brought its seasonal total to just 10.5 inches, which is still 6.4 inches (38%) short for normal season-to-date snowfall. Many parts of the state remain 60-80% short, and only the very far northwest, representing about 1% of Minnesota, is slightly above normal, with over 20 inches reported near Warroad and Lake Bronson.

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