March or May? Snow, gusty winds, power outages in Duluth

Snow accumulates along Interstate 35
Snow accumulates along Interstate 35 on Thompson Hill near Duluth on Sunday in this image from a MnDOT traffic camera.
Minnesota Department of Transportation

Updated: 7:45 p.m. | Posted: 9:30 a.m.

Winter made an unseasonably late appearance in the Duluth area on Sunday, with accumulating snow and winds gusting to more than 70 mph on Lake Superior.

The Duluth International Airport recorded 2.4 inches of snow — shattering the record for the date (0.2 inches, set in 1963) and adding to what already was the snowiest May on record in the city.

The monthly snowfall now stands at 13.3 inches, thanks in large part to a storm on May 8-9 that dropped 10.6 inches of snow at the Duluth airport. The previous record May monthly snowfall was 8.1 inches, set in 1954.

Other snowfall reports Sunday included 5.9 inches at Maple and 5.8 inches at Wentworth — both just across the border in Douglas County, Wis.

Meanwhile, the freighter American Spirit — on Lake Superior offshore from the Twin Ports — reported northeast winds of 50 mph gusting to 74 mph at 9 a.m. Sunday. The freighter Burns Harbor, on the lake near Beaver Bay, Minn., reported winds of 50 mph gusting to 66 mph.

On land, the National Weather Service reported a peak wind gust of 60 mph Sunday morning on the Blatnik Bridge across the Duluth harbor.

Sky Harbor Airport on Park Point reported a gust of 49 mph; the Duluth International Airport reported a gust of 48 mph. Temperatures in Duluth on Sunday morning were in the mid-30s; wind chills were in the low to mid-20s.

At one point Sunday morning, Minnesota Power reported about 700 customers without electricity in and near Duluth. Those outages had been repaired by Sunday evening.

The wind kicked up big waves along the Lake Superior shore in Duluth's Canal Park, and the Weather Service reported that the snow caused reduced visibilities. Some crashes were reported along Interstate 35 near Duluth and Proctor.

According to the Weather Service, the record for the latest measurable snow in Duluth is May 28, 1965. The average last measurable snow is April 26.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.