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Biggest storm of winter fades, coldest winter in 35 years rolls on

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Digging out

The biggest storm of winter lived up to its billing.

Snowfall totals of 6 to 18 inches pelted Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, and the 9.9 inches recorded at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is the biggest snowfall of winter so far. According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, this is the coldest winter since 1978-79.

Ouch.

Here's the storm summary from the Twin Cities National Weather Service.

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Image: Twin Cities NWS

Here are the totals from the Duluth NWS. The Golden Snow Shovel Award? Superior with 18".

702 dlh February 20th and 21st, 2014
Image: Duluth NWS

The storm finally pulls to through today, but with plenty of winds and blowing snow on icy roads.

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January the sequel?

Winter's chill returns the next few days as the polar vortex sideswipes the Upper Midwest again.

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We add more sub-zero days to the 44 we've tallied this winter. We add a few more the next week. I hear many of you are done with winter.  Winter's not done with us just yet.

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Image: Weatherspark

Coldest winter in 35 years?

The final numbers are still coming in as we close out February, but this looks like it will be the coldest winter in 35 years, and a top 10 cold winter. Here are the bone-chilling details from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.

The winter of 2013-14 has been the coldest in years. So far the average temperature of Meteorological Winter (December-February 19) is 10.0 degrees. If cold weather returns for the rest of February, the winter of 2013-14 would  finish in the top 10 coldest winters on record.

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Image: MN Climate Working Group

The overall pattern looks cold for the next two weeks. I'm not yet buying the level of cold (-30) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Global Forecast System is cranking out in its 16-day analysis, but many more sub-zero mornings are ahead. 

Some moderation is likely as we move into March.

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Image: NOAA via IPS Meteostar

The good news? It just can't stay this cold for too much longer. The March sun will have an impact, and eventually the coldest winter in 35 years will give way to ... Spring.

Hang in there!