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Let It Snow… Again… Afterall It Is Minnesota

Let It Snow… Again… Afterall It Is Minnesota

You hear it every where you go, or you may even be the type of person we are talking about… you know the ones who are complaining about winter.  You are so ready for winter to be over so you can start complaining about the hot and humid summer temperatures and the mosquitos that come along with it.

However, I am personally ready for some more snow!  The only thing that really sucks about winter is the -50 degree windchill days.  Other than that, I live in Minnesota so I can get out and enjoy all 4 seasons, and that includes sliding around in the snow.

Furthermore, winter came late this year.  Do you remember the dusting of snow, or better yet brown Christmas we had this year.  It did finally snow in December but it wasn’t until the last couple of days and it was only a few inches, hardly enough to enjoy.

Granted, we got dumped on in February of this year.  We got a total of 39 inches of snow in 1 month!  For us, that makes up for the mere 18 inches of snow we had the rest of the winter.

Average Snowfall Days Minneapolis

So here we are in the beginning of March and needless to say the weather forecast is saying another 2 to 4 inches of snow.  I guess it should really be no surprise since March is typically the 3 snowiest month of the year.

Let’s enjoy the last month or so winter has to offer.  Get out there and enjoy some snow tubing or ice skating because before you know it you will be itching for the end of summer and dreaming about the days when the mosquitos don’t bite.

Out With The Cold In With The Snow

Out With The Cold In With The Snow

So the polar vortex swept through Minneapolis most of last week setting new record lows and cancelling school and other activities throughout the entire week.  If you thought we were going to make it through this winter without some cold and snow, well you must not have lived in Minnesota for very long.

Now that the super cold temperatures have left the state, for now anyways, it sounds like we have an opportunity for a couple rounds of snow this upcoming week.  This all comes just as most residents are ready for winter to be over!

According to Accuweather.com, as of February 4th 2019, we are expected to see a dusting of snow come in around Tuesday afternoon.  It doesn’t look like it will be much but it will be enough to impact your commute home from work.

And then Wednesday through Thursday, well lets just say you are going to need your snow boots.  It is expected that we can see anywhere from 2 inches of snow to 8 inches of snow with a slight chance of 8 plus inches over the 48 hours.

So it looks like winter has officially arrived.  We suggest gearing up and getting outside to enjoy the snow and not so cold temperatures because there is not too much longer left to winter and before you know it you will be complaining about the heat and humidity.

What Happened To Winter In Minneapolis?

What Happened To Winter In Minneapolis?

Here it is the middle of January in Minneapolis and we have not had a single day below 0 degrees.  Nor have we had enough snow to enjoy the winter activities we usually do at this time of the year.  So what happened to winter this year?

In November of 2018, the Farmers’ Almanac and the Old Farmers’ Almanac had differing opinions about the forecast for this winter.  Based on their predictions it looks like the Old Man is going to win with a prediction of a gentle and mild winter.

The reason for a gentle and mild winter is a weak El Nino warming pattern.  However, this pattern has kind of pushed the coldest parts of winter off until the end of January and into February.  As predicted, the latest weather reports for the weekend of January 19th and 20th 2019 will be the coldest of the year and we will see some below 0 degree temperatures coming our way.

Now if we could only get some snow!  If the Old Farmers’ Almanac continues to hold true, don’t expect much snow to come our way.  This means, when it does snow, you had better get out there and enjoy it because it likely will not last long.

12 Tips To Prepare For Minnesota’s Winter

12 Tips To Prepare For Minnesota’s Winter

The rumors are true. Winter is coming. And the only way to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, or a massive heating bill is to plan for the snow and cold before they arrive.

Don’t let Old Man Winter catch you unprepared. Below are tips Minnesotans should follow as winter approaches:

House safety

1. The Minnesota Department of Safety that residents change the batteries in their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

  • The Centers for Disease Control urges residents to memorize the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

2. Clear our the gutters and repair any roof leaks.

3. Purchase plenty of sand and anti-icing products to keep sidewalks and driveways walkable. Some cities will fine homeowners if their sidewalks are not properly cleared.

4. Clean fireplaces and chimneys.

5. Keep your heating costs down and insulate your home with weather stripping and caulking. This is especially important for older houses.

6. Keep your home warm enough at all times so that water pipes do not freeze. 

7. Make sure your pets are given plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to cold weather. Bring them inside in extreme conditions.

Travel

8. The National Weather Service recommends adjusting your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day (early morning).

9. Make checking the forecast part of your daily routine. Don’t travel when the NWS has issued an advisory.

10. Parents should find a warm location for their kids to wait for the school bus.

11. Create a winter survival kit for your car, which should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights
  • First aid fit
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Basic toolkit, including pliers, wrench, and a screwdriver
  • Pet supplies
  • Radio
  • Cat litter or sand
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Clothes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged Cell Phone

12. Be sure to check on family and neighbors especially at risk in cold weather.

Check out the CDC’s Winter Weather page more winter safety tips.

There Is Fun To Be Had This Winter

There Is Fun To Be Had This Winter

Winters in Minnesota. Those three words alone can bring a chill to your spine – if you live out-of-state, that is!

Minnesotans embrace the winter because there are so many great things to do throughout the entire season. From skiing to snow boarding, fairs to festivals, and oh so much more, there isn’t a better season in the state.

If you’re looking for a few ways to stay entertained during the winter, take a look at this handy resource guide.

Go Ice Skating on the Chain of Lakes

If you are a resident of the Twin Cities, chances are you take advantage of the multiple lakes during the warmer month, however, did you know Minneapolis has 24 different ice skating rinks? These skating areas include Lake Nokomis and Lake of the Isles, some of which offer warming houses. Each location offers different activities so plan your trip ahead by consulting the 2017-18 Ice Rink Guide. There are even places to rent skates!

Play a Pickup Game of Hockey

It’s almost a requirement – if you live in Minnesota, you love hockey! If you’re looking for a more competitive ice skating experience and want to shoot the puck this winter, there are a several public ice rinks hosting pick up and intramural league hockey games throughout the state.

For public hockey rinks in the Twin Cities, visit the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board site

Attend the Winter Carnival in St. Paul

The biggest winter carnival in the world is the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Attendees get the chance to watch a downhill ice-skating event, Red Bull Crashed Ice, explore a giant ice palace or take a stroll through the decorated, Rice Park.

View the Winter Carnival events here

Attend the Beer Dabbler

Almost a decade old, hearty Minnesotans head out in the cold and attend the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival (an offshoot of the main Winter Carnival). With more than 150 breweries pouring more than 400 different types of beer, live music, fun activities and more, Beer Dabbler is a must-attend event during a Minnesota winter!

Find out more about Beer Dabbler here

Go Snowshoeing in One of the Many Parks throughout the State

For hiking enthusiasts – there are plenty of national, regional and local parks with countless miles of hiking trails.

Check out the MN DNR site to find designated snowshoeing parks, trails and places to rent

Shred Powder at one of the Many Ski Hills and Resorts

Some of the most popular winter destinations in Minnesota are ski resorts. Below are some of the most popular in the state:

Recently purchased by Vail Resorts (Colorado), Afton Alps offers some of the best skiing in the Twin Cities area, with amazing terrain parks and fast runs.

Located in Duluth, Spirit Mountain offers a family-friendly ski experience that will keep you entertained all day long. Plus, tickets are affordable and the snow is always fresh!

Probably the best skiing you’ll get in Minnesota is at Lutsen Mountains. This ski area is the same place where Olympian Lindsey Vonn honed her skills to become a champion. However, it’s not just for Olympic champions, any skill-level can have fun, ride the gondolas and enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Superior.

Technically located in Wisconsin, we won’t discount it from being a great thing to do in the winter! Mont Du Lac is a good alternative to Spirit Mountain – usually with fewer people and lower prices. It’s not for the faint of heart, however, The expert runs include a 10+ acre Western-style bowl, mogul runs, un-groomed terrain, and tree skiing.

With 35 alpine ski runs, you won’t spend a single second of your day bored. With great rates on tickets and rental equipment, the whole family can have fun on the slopes!

Watch XC Ski Racing and Skijoring at the Loppet in Minneapolis

If downhill skiing isn’t quite your “cup of tea”, try cross-country skiing, instead. The Loppet, which takes place in Uptown Minneapolis, is an urban race event you want to miss. Not only are there various XC ski races, there’s a competitive skijoring event, where skiers are connected to their four-legged friends, led through the streets of uptown by their dogs. It’s truly a sight to see!

Find out more about this exciting event here

Go Cross Country Skiing On One of the Many Trails with some Friends

If you want to strap on some cross country skis yourself, we highly recommend that you do. And Minnesota is the perfect place for it. Not only is it a great way to take advantage of the many parks and hiking and winter scenery opportunities in Minnesota, you also get a healthy dose of exercise. Grab a few friends and enjoy fun and exercise in the great outdoors – sounds like a good time to us!

Visit the MN DNR website for more information about XC ski passes, trails and etiquette

Take Snowboarding Lessons at Theodore Wirth Park

Is snowboarding your preference? There are local lessons offered at Theodore Wirth Park in the Twin Cities through the Loppet Foundation. See the Loppet website for more information.

..Or, Just Explore Theodore Wirth Park

Theodore Wirth Park is one of the Twin Cities largest urban parks. Explore 700 acres of urban forest and try winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, off-road cycling, and more.

To learn more about Theodore Wirth Park, click here.

Go Ice Fishing

While certainly not for everyone, ice fishing is a fantastic winter activity for those who are brave enough to bear a few hours in the cold. And the best part – the Twin Cities’ lakes offer the same great fishing in the winter months as they do in the spring, summer and fall seasons.

For those in Minneapolis/St. Paul, check out the DNR’s ice fishing guide here

Experience Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, and Minnesota will give you the chance to hop on a trail with a few canines and see the winter country landscape in the most unique way possible. Take a look at some of the best dog sledding adventure companies in Minnesota below.

Find a dog sledding vacation here

Take in the Beauty of the North Woods

The North Woods in Minnesota, specifically the areas around the Boundary Waters, are top-tier vacation destinations in the U.S. From sightseeing to skiing to snowshoeing and more, the exploration opportunities here are endless.

Find out some of the top things to do in the North Woods here

Go Sledding and Tubing

A classic winter tradition, there are plenty of sledding and tubing opportunities in one of the country’s snowiest states! Try out the slickest hills in the state, including Theodore Wirth Park, Sunset hill and Columbia Golf Club in Minneapolis.

Take a look at the sledding and tubing page on the Minneapolis Park Board’s site

Walk Under the Frozen Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Minnesota and freezes in mid-air almost every winter. Those that want to explore the falls have the ability to roam freely. That includes underneath the frozen falls, which offers some spectacular winter sightseeing.

Find out more about exploring Minnehaha Falls in the winter, here.

Minneapolis Winter Apps That Save You Time and Money

Minneapolis Winter Apps That Save You Time and Money

Winter is here in Minneapolis and the snow has already fell a few times this year.  As a matter of fact, our snow plowing and snow shoveling crews have already been dispatched once and we are only in the first week of December.

Along with snowy winters in Minneapolis, along comes parking restrictions and hazardous road conditions.  To help you stay ahead of city plow trucks and congested traffic throughout the Twin Cities we would like to share with you some apps you can download to your phone.

Minneapolis Snow Emergency App

The Minneapolis Snow Emergency App can help you avoid the costs and hassles of a ticket and tow during a snow emergency.  This app has recently been updated and will tell you when a snow emergency has been declared and when and where you can and cannot park your car.

You can download the app for android here, and for apple here.

Minneapolis Snow Emergency App

Google Maps App

If you don’t already have the Google Maps App downloaded on your phone, you may want to consider downloading it.  The Google Maps App will let you know about congested traffic and potential crashes on the roadways.  Open the app before heading out for work, if you see red lines on roadways that means traffic is backed up and you may want to consider taking a different route to work.

You can download the app for android here, and for apple here.

Google Maps App

SnowCast App

Whether you love the snow or hate it, the SnowCast App will tell you exactly how much snow to expect over the next 48 hours.  The cool thing about his app is that you will be able to determine how much snow is going to fall on the south side of the cities or the north side.  This will allow you to determine where the best snow is for sledding or whether you should just stay inside by the fire.

Right now this app is only available for Apple products and can be downloaded here.

SnowCast App

Conclusion

We hope these apps will help you save time and money as well as help you find or avoid the snow when possible.  Do you know of any other great apps we should have during the winter?  If so, please tell us about them in the comments section below.

Minnesota Winter Fake News

Minnesota Winter Fake News

Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard that this winter is going to be a gentle and mild winter.  At least that is what the Old Farmers’ Almanac is telling us. 

I don’t know about you but over the past couple of weeks I haven’t been dreading this winter that much.  I was planning on getting out a bit more with the kids to make snowmen, go sledding, ice skating and having some snowball fights.

Then I came across thie Farmers’ Almanac, and the Farmers’ Almanac is calling the Old Farmers’ Almanac fake news!

“Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter,” says Peter Geiger, editor of The Farmers’ Almanac.

“We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions.”

Now I am just more confused than ever!!!  Who do you think is right?  Who do you want to be right??  Tell us in the comments below and lets see who is right.

History of Minnesota Late Winters

History of Minnesota Late Winters

Weatherman groundhog came out last week and saw his shadow.  That means we have 6 more weeks of winter left.  But do those rules apply to Minnesota?  We wanted to know so we took a look at some history and here is what we found out.

Latest Snowfall Recorded

This is one, that unless you were alive in 1935 that you simply won’t believe.  In 1935, 1.5 inches of snow fell on June, 4th!  Yes we said June 4th, it’s not a typo.

Cold Temperatures

Yes we live in the bold North and we expect cold temperatures, but we also expect summer to show up at some point in time.  However, you never know what the bold North will deliver.

In June 1964, the low temperature for the month came in at 15 degrees.  In July 1997, the low temperature came in at 24 degrees.  In August 2002, the low temperature came in at 21 degrees.

Now that is some cold temperatures in what is supposed to be winter.  Let’s hope this year we don’t come close to any of those records.

Late Year Blizzards

Blizzards are expected in Minnesota and we usually don’t see too many after the month of February.  But this is Minnesota and you never know what the weather is going to bring.

According to records, the latest blizzards in the state hit in March including the blizzard of 1941 on March 14th, 1941, International Falls Storm from March 1st – 4th in 1966, Duluth’s 1975 Blizzard on March 23rd and 24th and the Duluth Blizzard of 1985.

Lucky for us in the Twin Cities, these blizzards didn’t hit us.  However, you never know if a blizzard could track down here and hit us in March.  Let’s hope not!!!

Although we do enjoy the winter, we are already thinking about spring.  Some winters you have just had enough and hope for it to be over with early.

Minneapolis Snow Storm – January 23 208

Minneapolis Snow Storm – January 23 208

So the big snow storm on January 23 2018 has come and gone and has left its mark throughout Minneapolis.  If you are wondering how much snow you got, below is a list of the official snow recordings throughout the metro…

  • Minneapolis: 9.5”
  • Paul: 9.8”
  • MSP Airport: 12.4”
  • Prior Lake: 16.5”
  • Chanhassen: 11.0″ 
  • White Bear Lake: 10.0″ 
  • Edina: 8.0″
  • Maple Grove: 5.8″
  • Rogers: 2.5″ 
  • Owatonna: 17.0″ 
  • Cannon Falls: 13.5″ 
  • Burnsville: 13.3″
  • Stillwater: 11.0″

The snowstorm also left thousands of people stranded at the airport.  According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the snow storm closed all runways for a few hours and had to cancel over 500 flights.

For us Minnesotans, heavy snowfall isn’t uncommon and yes we do brave the elements and jump in our cars to get where we are going.  Well, during the snowfall 184 of us were involved in a crash and 298 of us ended up spinning out and needing assistance.

But that’s a few days out now and MNDOT has done a great job at clearing the roads for us.  Until the next snow storm, drive safe and thank a plow truck driver.

Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Living in Minnesota means that you must embrace the snow and cold if you want to survive.  For us, putting on layer after layer is just part of the struggle we go through to make the most out of the limited sunlight we have in the winters, and trust me we soak up as much daylight as we can.

So what do Minnesotans do in the winter?  Here is a list of some of the things Minnesotans brave during the cold and snowy months of winter.

Super Bowl 52

It’s no secret that we love our Vikings here in Minnesota and that we have one of the newest, nicest football stadiums in the world!  With that being said, it is my prediction that our Minnesota Vikings will be the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, and to top it off we are going to win.

Although the Super Bowl isn’t held in Minnesota every year (because most out of state fans can’t handle the cold) we do enjoy our tailgating.  No matter what the temperature is outside, you will find parking lots full of tailgaters before each and every home football game.

Ice Castles

Whether you are heading to Stillwater, St. Paul or one of many other locations throughout Minnesota to see ice castles, you will be in for a treat.  Ice castles are tradition and nobody does it better than Minnesota.  I mean just take a look at the pictures below and try not to drool…

 

The 1992 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace on Harriet Island in St. Paul. (Pioneer Press: Richard Marshall)

Polar Plunge

Some call us crazy for willingly jumping into ice cold lakes in the middle of winter but we call it charity!  That’s right, if you see a polar plunge going down you are more than likely witnessing a charity event like no other. 

Pond Hockey

We didn’t become that state of hockey without thousands of hours clearing the lakes and ponds behind our houses just so we can play some hockey!  We are self taught and produce some of the toughest hockey players in the nation because we brave the cold, or maybe because its so cold out we never feel the bumps and bruises from checking each other on the ice!  Either way, there are thousands of pond hockey games going on throughout the state each and every day there is ice on the lakes.

Additionally, Minnesota is home to the US Pond Hockey Tournament.  That’s right, Fred Haberman a tough and true Minnesotan had a dream and made it reality.  So, if you think you have a good hockey team it better be out there on the pond when tournament time rolls around.

Holidazzle

From movies in the park to watching the Vikings beat up the Packers to fireworks and so much more, us Minnesotans enjoy these activities outdoors, in the cold!  If you haven’t experienced Holidazzle in Minnesota than you really don’t know what being a Minnesotan is all about!