Twin Cities area digging out after record Dec. 10 snowfall

11December 2021

The Twin Cities received its first big snow dump of the season Friday, a record-breaking snowfall for the date with amounts ranging from 1 to 4 inches north of the metro to 15 to 20 inches in Woodbury and southern suburbs such as Burnsville, Prior Lake and Savage, according to the National Weather Service.

The most concentrated snow was in a band that included the Twin Cities. Depths dropped from under 2 inches to zero moving north of St. Cloud, but ranged from about 7 to 10 inches south of the metro, according to a Weather Service map.

The 11 inches recorded at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was almost six times the previous record for snow on Dec. 10, set in 2016 with 2 inches, said meteorologist Joe Calderone at the Weather Service’s Chanhassen office.

About 250 flights were canceled Friday at MSP, about a third of the daily flight schedule, said Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Jeff Lea. The airport was reportedly running fine Saturday morning as workers cleared the airfield of snow, he said. But 69 departing and arriving flights had been canceled and nearly 50 delayed as airlines struggled to get back on schedule.

In the storm’s wake, the Minnesota State Patrol reported numerous crashes, including a fatal crash in Maplewood.

Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Excelsior and West St. Paulwere among the metro area cities to declare snow emergencies starting Friday night.

Woodbury appeared to have the highest snow total in the metro area, logging an unofficial 20 inches. Other unofficial reports put Inver Grove Heights, Rosemount and Eagan at 18 inches, and Minneapolis close to 9 inches. The National Weather Service provided a list of snow depths in the area.

Parts of Minnesota likely will lose much of the white landscape this week, with temperatures expected to rise into the mid to high 30s and, in the Twin Cities, reach the low 50s on Wednesday, Caldone said.

The sun was shining Saturday morning at Settegren Hardware on Penn Avenue in Minneapolis, which sold four or five snowblowers within its first 30 minutes. Adam Erickson, who works part-time at the store, was asked why people wait to buy them until widely forecast heavy snow is already on the ground.

“It feels like some people don’t want to accept that snow is coming,” he said. “I know my mom didn’t; she’s more of a summer person.”

There’s a chance of some light rain and showers Wednesday, but no further precipitation drama is in the immediate forecast,Calderone said.

Staff writers David Chanen, Tim Harlow and Mara Klecker contributed to this report.

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