This year’s winter weather has kept lakes area residents on their toes, with a particularly wet December, followed by a rather snowy January, then a dry February and now a warm beginning to March.
Brainerd received 0.9 inches of snow the whole month of February this year, substantially lower than the 6.9-inch average, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
That number puts February 2020 at the 11th lowest year on record in terms of snowfall for the month.
“There have been several Februaries where there has only been a trace, so basically enough to see some snowflakes actually falling, but nothing heavy enough to actually be measurable,” Meteorologist Justin Schultz said Sunday, March 1.
The month of February in 1973, ‘83 and ‘87, he noted, were among those years with only a trace.
The unusually dry month also brought with it some unusual temperatures. Feb. 2 reached 45 degrees, just shy of the record-high 49 degrees in 1991. The low temperature recorded that day was 31 degrees, coming in at the highest low temperature on record for the day. Temperatures then dropped considerably, with the lowest recorded at 21 degrees below zero Feb. 20. The record low for that date is 29 below zero, observed in 1959.
But temperatures have once again risen in the lakes area, with March coming in like a lamb.
“Overall, we’ve kind of seen this above average temperature and relatively dry pattern, and it looks like that’s going to continue,” Schultz said looking at the week ahead.
Highs are expected to stay above freezing all week, with lows dipping into the 20s. A mix of rain and snow are expected Monday night into Tuesday, but without any accumulation.
Thursday could see more snow — perhaps an inch or 2 — but it likely won’t stick around long, with high temperatures for both Thursday and Friday estimated at 39 degrees.
“It certainly doesn’t look like any significant winter storms on the horizon,” Schultz said.