How much snow? 30+ inches on parts of Minnesota's North Shore this week

Two people pose for a photo in the snow
David Stieler (left) and Charlie Pavlisich pose for a photo after shoveling snow at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minn., on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Peter Harris

Parts of Minnesota's North Shore are digging out Thursday from more than 2 feet of snow that's fallen this week.

The National Weather Service received a report of 30.9 inches of snow since Sunday near Hovland, northeast of Grand Marais. Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland reported 27.4 inches of snow since Sunday.

Peter Harris is the citizen science coordinator at Wolf Ridge. He talked with MPR News on Wednesday as heavy snow was still falling.

“We have kids up here, and you just look at their eyes, and they're lit up. And our staff is from around the United States — they're like, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” he said. “The branches are bent over and everything is incredibly white.”

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Harris said the snow was prompting a flurry of activity, as staffers worked to finish getting canoes out of the water and keep the access road clear.

Other snow totals this week along the North Shore — reported by the Weather Service on Thursday morning — include 21.4 inches a few miles west of Grand Marais and 18 inches near Silver Bay.

The snow totals were enhanced by Lake Superior — with winds carrying moisture from the relatively warm lake waters and depositing it as snow in the higher terrain of the North Shore.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, the prolonged light snow this week had added up to just over 7 inches at the Duluth airport as of Thursday morning, and just over 4 inches at the Twin Cities airport.

The heavy snow has ended along the North Shore. Much of Minnesota will see light snow on Thursday, generally adding up to an inch or less.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported snow-covered highways Thursday across most of the state, including the Twin Cities. There were reports of scattered spinouts and crashes — though not on the scale of the hundreds seen Monday and Tuesday.

Find Minnesota road condition updates here.

In the wake of the snow, much colder air will move in Friday and linger through the weekend.

Find forecast updates on MPR Weather's Updraft blog.

MPR’s Dan Kraker contributed to this report.