After nearly a month of balmy November weather a powerful, slow-moving winter storm hit Minnesota. A swath of heavy snow fell over central Minnesota. The heaviest snow was centered around Willmar where 21.0 inches fell in a 24-hour period ending at 8am on November 27th. A little snow on the 26th and additional snow after 8am on the 27th brought the total to 30.4 inches. The 21.0 inches was a single day snowfall record for Willmar, but not the state. The state record is 36.0 inches set on January 7,1994 at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland. 30.4 inches for Willmar in a single storm event is a lot of snow, but did not break the record for the state or Willmar. The state record remains 46.5 inches also set at Wolf Ridge on January 6-8, 1994. And the Willmar single storm total record remains 30.7 inches from November 29 - December 2, 1985. The storm also brought strong winds to the Duluth Harbor. A peak wind gust of 52 mph was observed at the lift bridge and estimated 10 foot waves were observed. The lake walk along in canal park was damaged by waves and driftwood crashing up on shore.
Another interesting phenomena with this storm was that lightning was observed during the falling snow on the evening of November 26th in the Twin Cities. While the storm was severe in parts of the state and brought rush hour to a crawl, it brought needed moisture to most of Minnesota. Winter sports fans also seemed to welcome the winter wonderland scene. The map above depicts the snow depth on Thursday, November 29th, 2001. For the National Weather Service snowstorm depth reports see the link below.
For details on National Weather Service Statements and other information on the storm, click on the links below:
- National Weather Service Public Information Statements
- Discussion on the Willmar Snowfall Event and Minnesota Snow Records
- National Weather Service Snowfall Map for November 26-27