A Very Snowy December

December of 2010 featured a very active storm track which brought five snow storms (December 3-4, December 10-12, December 15-16, December 20-21, and December 23-24) through the Upper Mississippi River Valley.  Each of these systems brought a band of snow in excess of 6 inches.  Typically, only three to five winter storms affect the region during an entire snow season. 

Many areas received 20 to 40 inches of snow in December.  This was two to four times the normal December snowfall (around 10 inches).  By far, the hardest hit areas have been along the Interstate 90 corridor in southeast Minnesota where 36 to 41 inches of snow fell. December 2010 was the snowiest December ever at the following locations:

  • Alma Dam 4, WI - 27.0 inches
  • Caledonia, MN - 36.1 inches
  • Elkader, IA - 31.1 inches
  • Grand Meadow, MN - 40.6 inches
  • La Crescent Dam 7, MN - 37.8 inches
  • Minnesota City Dam 5, MN - 29.2 inches
  • Preston, MN - 37.7 inches
  • Rochester International Airport - 41.3 inches
  • Waukon, IA - 36.0 inches
  • Winona Dam 5A, MN - 39.0 inches

December 2010 was the snowiest ever at the following locations:

  • La Crescent Dam 7, MN
  • Rochester International Airport
  • Waukon. IA

More details on the month's snowfall in southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and western Wisconsin can be found below.

Southeast Minnesota:

Southeast Minnesota Monthly Snow Totals
for December of 2010, through December 30th
 Location December 2010
Snowfall Total
Remarks
Rochester International Airport 41.3 inches Snowiest December & Month - Previous record was 35.3 inches in December 2000
Grand Meadow 40.6 inches Snowiest December - Previous record 34.6 inches in 2008
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest Month is 42.5 inches in March 1951
Zumbrota 40.0 inches  
Winona Dam 5A 39.0 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 33.9 inches in 1968
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest Month is 40.0 inches in March 1951
Lake City 38.0 inches  
La Crescent Dam 7 37.8 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 30.0 inches in 2008
Snowiest Month - Previous Record was 34.8 inches in March 1959
Preston 37.7 inches Snowiest December & Month - Previous record was 33.8 inches in December 2008
Spring Valley 36.5 inches  
Caledonia 36.1 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 28.1 inches in 2008
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest Month is 44.8 inches in March 1959
Byron 36.7 inches  
Lanesboro 35.3 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 37.0 inches in 1961
Austin 31.4 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 36.5 inches in 2000
Minnesota City Dam 5 29.2 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 27.4 inches in 2008
3rd Snowiest Month - Snowiest Month is 41.5 inches in March 1951
Wabasha 28.4 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 28.6 inches in 1968

Northeast Iowa:

Northeast Iowa Monthly Snow Totals
for December of 2010, through December 30th  
 Location December 2010
Snowfall Total
Remarks
Waukon 36.0 inches Snowiest December & Month - Previous record was 35.5 inches in December 2008
Stanley 33.0 inches  
Fayette 32.3 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 33.4 inches in 1909
Oelwein 1E 32.3 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 34.8 inches in December 2000
New Hampton 31.9 inches 3rd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 35.0 inches in December 1909
Elkader 31.1 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 25.3 inches in 2009
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest month is 40.6 inches in March 1951
Calmar 30.1 inches  
Decorah 29.8 inches 3rd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 32.3 inches in December 2008
Ionia 2W 29.5 inches  
St. Ansgar 29.3 inches  
Strawberry Point 29.2 inches  
Cresco 1NE 28.7 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 32.1 inches in 2008
Osage 28.7 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 27.6 inches in 2008
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest month is 42.0 inches in March 1951
Elma 26.8 inches  
Nashua 2 SW 25.8 inches  
Postville 25.2 inches 3rd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 33.6 inches in December 2008
Guttenberg Dam 10 25.1 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 38.0 inches in 2000
Charles City 24.8 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 27.0 inches in 2008

Western Wisconsin:

Western Wisconsin Monthly Snowfall Totals
for December of 2010, through December 30th 
 Location December 2010
Snowfall Total
Remarks
La Crosse 4NNW 32.9 inches  
La Crosse Municipal Airport 32.3 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 32.7 inches in 2008
5th Snowiest Month - Snowiest Month is 39.6 inches in January 1929
La Crosse NWS 32.3 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 35.4 inches in 2008
Freindship 30.6 inches  
Galesville 2ESE 30.1 inches  
Black River Falls 29.8 inches  
Medford 27.5 inches 4th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 34.5 inches in 2008
Alma Dam 4 27.0 inches Snowiest December - Previous record was 25.5 inches in 1969
2nd Snowiest Month - Snowiest month is 39.5 inches in March 1951
Genoa Dam 8 26.8 inches 2nd Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 27.6 inches in 2008
La Farge 26.7 inches  
Cuba City 2NW 25.9 inches  
Viroqua 24.8 inches 5th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 35.0 inches in 1985 
Platteville 24.1 inches  
Prairie du Chien 23.9 inches  
Lynxville Dam 9 23.5 inches 4th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 32.7 inches in 2000
Ontario 23.4 inches 5th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 30.1 inches in 2007
Hillsboro 1SW 23.3 inches  
Blair 2NW 23.0 inches  
Lancaster 4WSW 23.0 inches  
Trempealeau Dam 6 22.2 inches 4th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 33.3 inches in 2008
Steuben 4SE 21.3 inches  
Necedah 2SE 21.2 inches  
Owen 3W 21.2 inches  
Gays Mills 21.0 inches 5th Snowiest December - Snowiest December is 34.8 inches in 2008
Soldiers Grove 20.1 inches  
Neillsville 3SW 20.0 inches  
Sparta 18.3 inches  



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