The 12 to 13 inches of snow dumped on the Detroit Lakes-Becker County area by the weekend storm was just the chilly frosting on a very snowy December ice cream cake.
Detroit Lakes has been on the receiving end of 31.8 inches of snow this December, more than three times the city’s average December snowfall of 10.6 inches, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad Hopkins in Grand Forks, N.D.
“Most of that came out of two big storms,” Hopkins said. “Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 was the first one, and now the most recent storm … it made it all add up really quick.”
The rest came in small amounts, including a few one- or two-inch snowfall events in December.
Actually, it’s been snowy all season, starting with October, which brought 3.2 inches of snow to Detroit Lakes, three times the average of 1.1 inches.
November left 9.3 inches of snow in Detroit Lakes, again, higher than the normal 6.1 inches, Hopkins said.
Detroit Lakes had plenty of snow-covered company in the last storm: A foot or more of snow fell across much of the area, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Vince Goden in Grand Forks.
“That was common from Highway 2 all the way down to Detroit Lakes,” Goden said. “There was a consistent 12 to 13 inches through that area.”
The moisture content of the snow, or snow ratio, was 11 to 1, which is on the cusp on what is considered wet snow, he said.
A 10 to 1 ratio means that 10 inches of snowfall equals one inch of water. Dry, fluffy snow might have a snow ratio of 25 to 1 or higher.
Don’t be surprised to see more snow in the first two weeks of January.
“Looks like we might be trending cooler than normal and above-normal precipitation through the middle of January,” Hopkins said.
The second half of January could offer a reprieve from the snow, if not the cold. “It looks like the second half of January will have below normal precipitation -- cooler and drier,” he said.
The record snowfall in Detroit Lakes is 90 inches for the season, set in 1943, according to historical records. Detroit Lakes is already about halfway there.
Snow-tals so far
Here is how much snow has fallen on Detroit Lakes so far this season:
- October: 3.2 inches
- November: 9.3 inches
- December: 31.8 inches