Wet, Slushy, and Snowy Spring Storm, March 21-23, 2022

A 48-hour storm system brought plentiful precipitation to much of Minnesota, along with areas of ice and heavy snow in the north.

The precipitation formed as a strong low pressure system emerged from Colorado on Monday March 21, tracking slowly into Kansas and Iowa on Tuesday, before heading towards Lake Michigan by late Wednesday.

The storm brought steady rains to southern and eastern Minnesota, with freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow falling over the northern and northeastern parts of the state. Areas around Mankato, Rochester, and the Twin Cities received over an inch of precipitation, with a half-inch or more falling over the southeastern 60% of the state, basically south and east of a line from Worthington, to Leech Lake, to International Falls.

Light accumulations of ice from freezing rain occurred in northeastern and east-central Minnesota, with glaze thickness ranging from 0.05 to 0.20 inches near Duluth, Ely, and Mahtowa.

On the western edge of the moderate precipitation, enough cold air poured into the system to produce accumulating snows. The heaviest snows, accumulating 10 inches or more,  hugged the higher terrain in Cook County, near Lutsen, Grand Marias, and Grand Portage. A larger band of snow set up in a north-to-south stripe from International Falls and Rainy Lake, down through the western Iron Range, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, St. Cloud, through New Ulm to the Iowa border. In that band, International Falls recorded 13.1 inches of snow officially, with National Weather Service Cooperative observers and other volunteers recording  4-8 inches in northern areas, 2-5 inches in the central parts of the state, and 1-2 inches in the south.

This weather system missed western and northwestern Minnesota. Western parts of the state are now running 10-50% short on precipitation for the year, though the absolute deficits are generally under one inch and therefore still easy to make up. About a third of Minnesota is now 25-50% wetter than normal for the year, with the remainder of the state remaining near normal to slightly wetter than normal.


March 23, 2022


Back to top