End-of-year snowfall a welcome sight in Twin Cities amid ‘bizarre’ season

End-of-year snowfall a welcome sight in Twin Cities amid ‘bizarre’ season

End-of-year snowfall a welcome sight in Twin Cities amid ‘bizarre’ season

All along capital city streets on Sunday, the familiar sound of plastic shovels hitting driveways and sidewalks finally returned.

After a brown Christmas, a snowfall coated the ground overnight in the metro just in time for the new year.

The Saturday night snowfall was only the second in December. Both produced under an inch, according to the measurement at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The highest snow total of the season, back on Halloween, felt like a distant memory to residents in St. Paul, out shoveling and walking their dogs in the snow on New Year’s Eve.

“It’s Minnesota winter, finally,” exclaimed Chris Cloutier as he cleared the steps leading up to his home.

“It’s been a very good year for walking. I feel bad for those businesses and people that rely on snow,” said Rich Carlson, who was out for a stroll with his wife, Andrea McCormack, and their dog, Kasey.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing a little bit more snow,” he added. Although, McCormack disagreed.

The season snow total as of Sunday is 4.8 inches, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Meteorologist Matt Serwe said, adding, at this point last year, the Twin Cities had seen 33.2 inches of snow.

“It’s bizarre,” Serwe said. “You’re talking about one of the 20 lowest snowfall totals on record in the Twin Cities. And our records go all the way back to the 1870s.”

Even more record-breaking, according to Serwe, this month stacks up as the warmest December on record in Minnesota by far.

“In fact, the record that we’re beating is December of 1877, and we’re beating that by a full degree,” he said.

The heat this month forced closures at outdoor ice rinks and prompted warnings from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Officials on Thursday said ice conditions were at a dangerous level.

Larry Umphrey with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Sunday morning that this season for the city’s roughly 50 ice rinks has been a “challenge.”

However, he was hopeful that the renewed chill in the air would bring a New Year’s turnaround as crews worked to prepare the ice for skaters.

“We need about 10 to 12 days of highs in the 20s, lows in the teens or lower to be able to build ice. So we’re probably looking at a couple of weeks out, but our crews are working diligently,” Umphrey said.

Now that it finally feels like winter, the warmest blooded Minnesotans were already ready to add another layer to the frosty landscape.

“Snow, cold, you know, something normal,” Cloutier said. “So, you know, when it comes spring … we can appreciate it.”