December 4th snowfall - updated

During the day Tuesday, December 4th, a significant snowfall event occurred across eastern North Dakota as well as northwest and west central Minnesota. Up to 9 inches of snow fell in a few locations, with widespread 6 to 8 inch totals common. This snow event, when combined with the snow fall on the first of December has brought many area snow totals to between 15 and 20 inches.

Below is a graphic of the snowfall from midnight Tuesday December 4th through midnight Wednesday December 5th. Note the axis of heaviest snow from the Langdon area through Grand Forks, Fargo, Detroit Lakes on to near Park Rapids.

The axis of heavier snow then continued into central and east-central Minnesota, mainly north and east of the I-94 corridor.

For the first 5 days of December, this is a record total snow amount for the University of North Dakota/NWS Climate station as well as the Fargo area.

UND/NWS snow totals for the first 6 days of December

Rank  Value  Year
  1    14.8  2007
  2     5.8  1991
  3     5.0  1918, 1903
  5     4.8  1901

Fargo snow totals for the first 6 days of December

Rank  Value  Year
  1    13.5  2007
  2     4.8  1985
  3     4.7  1991
  4     4.5  1972
  5     4.2  1951

Both Fargo and Grand Forks saw record daily snowfall  totals and record daily precipitation totals for December 1st and December 4th.

Do these early December snow records have any significant meaning as far as the rest of the winter season goes? Not necessarily. While a moderate La Nina typically points to an increased likelihood of a snowier than average winter, these recent snowfalls have served to "catch us up" to normal. As November was drier than average, getting over a foot of snow in a weeks period has simply brought us to average early winter conditions. If the heavy snowfall pattern were to continue, that would be a different picture.

However, the short term outlook calls for unseasonally cold weather with average snow fall the next one to two weeks. Your NOAA’s National Weather Service will continue to monitor the area climate conditions and issue updates as needed.

Below is an updated list of snow totals as reported from spotters, cooperative observers and law enforcement. These reports are from Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Snowfall values may vary between locations due to differences in measurement times and setling of the snow.

SITE                                   SNOWFALL AMOUNT

NORTH DAKOTA

TOWNER CO (HANSBORO PORT OF ENTRY)........ 9.5 INCHES
CAVALIER CO (SOUTHWEST).................6 TO 9 INCHES EST
CAVALIER COUNTY (LANGDON)................. 5.7 INCHES
WALSH CO (GRAFTON)......................7 TO 8 INCHES EST
GRAND FORKS CO (NWS OFFICE)............... 8.1 INCHES
GRAND FORKS CO (AIRPORT).................. 7.0 INCHES
PEMBINA CO (CAVALIER)...................6 TO 8 INCHES EST
PEMBINA CO (PEMBINA)...................... 6.0 INCHES
RAMSEY CO (EDMORE)........................ 8.5 INCHES
RAMSEY CO (DEVILS LAKE).................6 TO 7 INCHES EST
RAMSEY CO (STARKWEATHER).................. 6.0 INCHES
STEELE CO (FINLEY)...........................7 INCHES EST
CASS CO (SOUTH FARGO)........................6 INCHES
CASS CO (FARGO AIRPORT)................... 5.9 INCHES
TRAILL CO (MAYVILLE)...................... 5.0 INCHES

MINNESOTA

WADENA CO (WADENA)........................ 8.8 INCHES
WADENA CO (SEBEKA)........................ 6.0 INCHES
POLK CO (CROOKSTON)....................... 8.0 INCHES
POLK CO (FOSSTON).......................3 TO 5 INCHES EST
MARSHALL CO (ARGYLE)...................... 7.2 INCHES
MARSHALL CO (VIKING)...................... 4.6 INCHES
NORMAN CO (HALSTAD)....................... 7.0 INCHES
CLEARWATER CO (LONG LOST LAKE)............ 7.0 INCHES
CLEARWATER CO (ITASKA).................... 6.0 INCHES
CLEARWATER CO (LOWER RICE)................ 6.0 INCHES
KITTSON CO (HALLOCK).........................6 INCHES EST
KITTSON CO (LANCASTER).................... 4.0 INCHES
ROSEAU CO (ROSEAU)...........................6 INCHES EST
ROSEAU CO (GREENBUSH)..................... 5.0 INCHES
ROSEAU CO (WARROAD)....................... 2.5 INCHES
RED LAKE CO (RED LAKE FALLS).............. 6.0 INCHES
PENNINGTON CO (THIEF RIVER FALLS)...... 4 TO 6 INCHES EST
BELTRAMI CO (BEMIDJI)..................... 5.3 INCHES
LAKE OF THE WOODS (NORRIS CAMP)........... 2.5 INCHES
LAKE OF THE WOODS (WILLIAMS).............. 0.5 INCHES
CLAY CO (MOORHEAD)........................ 5.9 INCHES
CLAY CO (SABIN)........................... 5.0 INCHES
WILKIN CO (ROTHSAY)....................... 5.2 INCHES
WILKIN CO (BRECKENRIDGE).....................2 INCHES EST
OTTERTAIL CO (PELICAN RAPIDS)............. 6.3 INCHES
OTTERTAIL CO (FERGUS FALLS)..................6 INCHES EST
OTTERTAIL CO (NEW YORK MILLS)............. 5.0 INCHES
GRANT CO (ELBOW LAKE)........................2 INCHES EST
MAHNOMEN CO (MAHNOMEN)..................4 TO 5 INCHES EST
HUBBARD CO (PARK RAPIDS).....................5 INCHES EST
BECKER CO (DALTON 3S)..................... 4.6 INCHES
BECKER CO (PONSFORD)...................... 4.0 INCHES

For more information contact the Grand Forks NWS at 701.772.0720 or visit our web site at www.weather.gov/grandforks



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