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Heavy Wet Early Season Snow

Duluth, MN

October 26 to 27, 2017


Rain gradually changed to snow from late evening on October 26 toward midnight into the early overnight hours after midnight. Snow initially light but much heavier and accumulating after 2 AM CST. Snowfall accumulated an inch or more an hour at times from 4 AM through the mid-morning hours along and inland from the ridge crest in Duluth. Slightly warmer temperatures and mixed snow and rain limited accumulations rates in the lower elevations. The radar loop from the National Weather Service in Duluth shows high reflectivities identifying strong snow showers embedded within the overall snow area. The wetness of the snow also contributed to the high reflectivities since water coated ice scatters a higher amount of energy back to the radar than snowflakes composed of just ice. Much lighter snow fell after 11 AM and continued into the early evening, then flurries into the late evening. The National Weather Service Office measured 10.6 inches of soggy, tree-clinging snow. This author's measurement from Central Duluth just beyond the ridgeline was 8.6 inches. Much less accumulated at the bottom of the hill. As a personal note, this storm was the most snow observed in October at any location this author has lived. Previous October maximum was 8.0 inches in Topeka, KS on October 22, 1996.

Radar loop - National Weather Service, Duluth, MN