Bemidji snowfall this winter less than last winter
BEMIDJI -- If you think the snowfall this winter has been worse than last year, you'd only be half right.
Although Friday's snowfall of 3 inches makes this a later snow season than 2012-2013, the cumulative amount is only about 63.5 inches compared to last year's 89.5 inches, Pete Boulay of the Minnesota State Climatology Office said Friday. Last winter's last snowfall was April 18, 2013, but it was still a longer season than this winter since it started Oct 5, 2012, rather than than this winters' Oct. 20, Boulay said.
"Your snow season might not yet be done yet," he said. "We'll see what happens."
So, while this winter may have seemed harder because of longer stretches of cold weather, when it comes to snowfall, it was fairly routine.
The National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D., did not have comprehensive historical snowfall data for Bemidji, but meteorologist Bill Barrett said so far this winter's total of 55.9 inches for Lake Itasca ranks 29th in snow seasons since 1850. The snowiest winter on record there was 109.9 inches in 1965-66, Barrett said. Last winter's total of 86.3 inches was fourth.
The National Weather Service in Duluth reported that city has had a seasonal snowfall, as of Thursday night, of 128.7 inches — fourth greatest on record for the city. Duluth's snowiest winter was in 1995-96, when 135.4 inches fell, followed by 131.8 inches in 1949-50 and 129.4 inches last winter.
Bemidji's recent snowfall caused a 45-minute power outage for more than 700 Otter Tail Power customers in the vicinity of Paul Bunyan Mall early Friday, operations manager Darren Matetich said. Wet conditions likely caused an insulator to malfunction, starting an electric pole fire, he said. Police and firefighters were on hand to control the scene, Matetich said, but Otter Tail Power typically extinguishes electrical fires on their lines themselves.