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Winter gave the Northland a firm reminder this past weekend that it was not ready to give way to spring. This was an unusually strong mid-April snowstorm. The culprit area of low pressure tracked pretty far away, slowly moving from the Central Plains to south of the Great Lakes before lifting into eastern Canada. Yet, it brought heavy snow as far north and west as northeast MN and northwest WI.  Snow first spread in force Saturday (April 14th) afternoon into northwest WI and east-central MN from the southwest. The snow then spread into the rest of the Northland Saturday night into Sunday. The snow continued much of Sunday, then slowly diminished Sunday night into Monday. There was lingering lake effect snow along the South Shore into early Tuesday.

This storm generated strong northeast winds over Lake Superior.  Park Point in Duluth had frequent gusts to 50 mph Friday night and Saturday. The freighter Algoma Spirit sheltered behind Sand Island (the western-most Apostle Island) during the storm Saturday and measured frequent wind gusts to 60 knots (69 mph, nearly hurricane-force). The Devil's Island observation site measured wind gusts to 59 mph. The winds generated large waves of at least up to 15 feet over Lake Superior and along the South Shore to the Duluth and Superior area. There was some flooding near the ship canal and Lift Bridge in Duluth from the waves, and the waves were high enough to hit the bridge deck. Since it was cold outside, the waves and spray created a lot of icing along the Lake Superior shore.

The strong winds across the Northland, especially close to and downwind of Lake Superior, caused blizzard conditions with the falling snow. Highway 2 in Ashland was closed for a time.


Other Storm Summaries:


Freezing spray from huge waves coated the Lake Superior lake front in Duluth. 

Photo By Carol Christenson

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