Sunday storm brings needed snow, moistureSunday’s storm may not have dropped the foot of snow forecast by some, but it did give Carlton County a nice whitewash in the midst of a below average winter.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Sunday’s storm may not have dropped the foot of snow forecast by some, but it did give Carlton County a nice whitewash in the midst of a below average winter.
“It was nice to have snow that makes it worthwhile instead of those pretend things we’ve been getting,” said Cloquet Streets Supervisor Les Peterson, adding that he thought Cloquet got close to five inches of the white stuff Sunday.
Rob Nelson didn’t mind the snowfall either. He was plowing snow with a four-wheeler next to the garage where he keeps his funeral home vehicles on Monday morning, while his son, Danny, plowed the funeral home parking lot in a tractor-type vehicle.
“There’s lots of people plowing snow this morning,” said an upbeat Nelson. “It’s kind of like a play day.”
While schools in Duluth were cancelled, Barnum kids went on time and Cloquet delayed the start by two hours “to allow time for clearing side roads,” the district’s automatic message said.
Peterson said his crews began clearing the city streets at 4 a.m. – their usual start time – and were finished plowing by 10 or 11 a.m.
“Then we shifted into the mode of hauling it away,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re still working on that.”
Peterson explained that city crews don’t normally plow fewer than two inches of snow, “or you would just be plowing sand,” he added.
On the other hand, if snow totals get up around six inches, he will send the plows out before their start time.
“With those higher totals, you need to be further along by the time the rest of the world gets moving,” he said.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Tentinger said area snowfall totals for the season measure at 46.5 inches, nearly a foot below the average of 58 inches by this time. However, compared to this time last year – when the Northland’s snowfall total was 17.5 inches at this point – things are looking pretty good.
Tentinger expects more snow, based on the fact that the weather is locked into a more active pattern now.
“Usually when you’re in an active pattern, it persists,” he said, noting that overall precipitation is also still below average but should improve with the current weather. “We’ll probably keep getting additional shots of snow: a couple inches here and a couple inches there.”
Two inches at a time would be OK with Cloquet’s Kara Kopet, who was shoveling her front walk after she got her five kids off to school Monday. The snow was heavy and carried more moisture than other recent snowfalls.
“I’m determined to make a path for the mailman,” Kopet said.