The Christmas snow storm had snowflakes in the air much of the weekend, but warm temperatures kept the snowfall totals down.
"The models underestimated the warmer temperatures. We didn't expect this strong southerly flow," said Roman Berdes, meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Duluth. "Just a few degrees can make all the difference."
Berdes said the holiday snowstorm was unique for this time of year. He described the storm as a large, dynamic system with its power indicated by the surge of warm air this far north while the cold air was farther south in Iowa and southern Wisconsin.
Christmas Day and Saturday provided a mix of snow, rain and freezing drizzle across northeast Minnesota.
The Brainerd lakes area received between 9-12 inches, although with melting and compacting the snow diminished after it fell. As temperatures dropped Saturday, drizzle turned back into snow. Another 1-3 inches was expected Saturday.
North Brainerd resident Sue Bevans shoveled her driveway Saturday morning after 9-12 inches of snow fell from a winter storm that swept through the Midwest Christmas Day. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
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In Duluth, the snowstorm dropped about 24 inches of snow at the airport and strong winds created four-foot drifts.
As of Saturday morning, reported snowfall totals from the NWS were:
• Little Falls - 11 inches.
• Milaca - 7 inches.
• Hillman - 9 inches.
• Bertha - 7.1 inches.
• Onamia - 10 inches.
With the looming temperature change, wet and slushy roads were expected to become icy by Saturday afternoon and night.
Mother Nature's cold shoulder is arriving after temperatures were in the 30s on Christmas Day and a high of 30 was expected Saturday.
The holiday weekend offered prime snowman making opportunities. The temperature plunge is about to stop the melting process and let those weekend snow sculptures stand fast.
Sunday's low is expected to be 6 degrees, the National Weather Service reported. The sun should return Monday but it won't be felt so much as seen as the high is predicted to top out at 17 degrees and drop just a couple of degrees below zero overnight.
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