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Real snow days: Some areas see more than a foot of snow Sunday

From left, Maggie Manske, Collin Manske, Molly Manske and Neal Route fly down the hill at Paul Bunyan Park on Monday. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer) 1 / 3
Norwood Hall clears away the snow from the sidewalk at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Sixth Street NW on Monday after Sunday's snowfall. Up to 2 to 4 inches also was expected to fall Monday night into Tuesday morning. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer) 2 / 3
Maggie Manske, second from right, reaches out to keep the group together in the flurry of snow after the group's three sleds collided midway down the hill on Monday at Paul Bunyan Park. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer) 3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- Communities from Bemidji to the Red River Valley were blanketed in snow Sunday, with some areas reporting more than a foot of snowfall.

“For the Bemidji area, it falls as one of the bigger storms of the season,” said Nick Carletta, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. “We got our highest storm reports from that region.”

As of 8:56 p.m. Sunday, Turtle River reported 15 inches of snow. At that same time, Pinewood reported 13, Blackduck reported 12 inches and Puposky reported 10.5. Earlier that day, just after 4 p.m., an area north of Bemidji reported 12 inches and another report east of Bemidji came in with 10.5 inches.

In Bemidji’s downtown region, 9 inches of snow was reported at 8 p.m. According to the weather service, the largest snowfall totals extended in the middle portion of northwest Minnesota, extending from Mayville, N.D., through Fosston and into Bemidji. Other nearby communities, such as Park Rapids, received about 6 inches of snow.

“What was interesting about this one is it dropped very light, fluffy snow. There wasn’t a lot of water inside it. So, the precipitation amounts weren’t very high when compared to that amount of snow we got,” Carletta said. “It’s common to have these systems, though. January and February are the depth of winter and it’s when a lot of these systems can happen.”

That next system is right around the corner, too, as the NWS has issued a winter weather advisory in effect from 6 p.m. until noon on Tuesday. Blowing snow is expected with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches.

Residents should prepare for slippery road conditions, with wind gusts of up to 30 mph and wind chills pushing temperatures to 20 below zero. The most intense snowfall is expected from midnight until 6 a.m. Areas expected to receive the most snow is from Fergus Falls to Park Rapids, where 6 inches could fall. The immediate Bemidji area is expected to see between 2 to 4 inches of new snow.

Following that next system, it should clear up and warmer temperatures are in the forecast. Wednesday’s forecast is sunny, with a high near 15 and Thursday should be mostly sunny with a high near 23, the weather service said.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s forecasts are all partly sunny, with highs of 26, 29 and 28 degrees.

“It can vary, but looking at the forecast ahead we will have a general warming trend,” Carletta said. “February as a whole has been below normal temperatures. But, right now we’re looking to warm back up and get to normal temperatures again this week, probably into Thursday and Friday. It should be a nice change from this cold February.”

Matthew Liedke

Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.

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