Christmas Snowstorm and Blizzard of 2009

A long duration snowstorm came in waves from December 23rd to December 26th. The first wave of moisture moved across the state late on December 23rd and into the morning of the 24th and dropped anywhere from 3 to 9 inches of heavy snow. The most snow reported from the first wave was 9.4 inches at Chaska. By the afternoon of December 24th, the main storm was forming over southeast Oklahoma, with a large precipitation shield extending northward from the low pressure area. Christmas Eve featured windswept snow across much of Minnesota. On Christmas Day, the heavy snow shifted to the west over western Minnesota and the Dakotas, leaving the Twin Cities with a slushy mess as temperatures rose above freezing. By December 26, the storm had weakened, but left a wide band of snow that continued over western Minnesota and over the Arrowhead.

The Twin Cities International Airport received 9.4 inches from this storm from the evening of December 23rd to December 26. The 5.2 inches reported on December 24th, is the largest Christmas Eve Day snowfall on record for the Twin Cities.

The heaviest snow from this storm in Minnesota wound up in two places, along the North Shore and in the Red River Valley. Duluth saw its 5th greatest 3-day snowfall on record with 24.5 inches. Duluth also saw the most snow on record for Christmas Eve (11 inches) and Christmas Day (12.4 inches). Totals in the Red River Valley ranges from 17 inches at Fargo, to 25.1 inches at Grand Forks.

This storm was a full-fledged blizzard in Duluth and the Red River Valley. The persistent strong easterly wind caused waves up to 10 feet along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

National Weather Service Storm Event Summaries and Maps:

Below are Public Information Statements from the National Weather Service.


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1234 PM CST SAT DEC 26 2009


THE TOTALS BELOW ARE SNOW AMOUNTS FROM DECEMBER 24TH THROUGH 26TH.
THESE AMOUNTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE FINAL AMOUNT FOR EACH
LOCATION. THE REPORTS ARE FROM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SNOW
SPOTTERS AND COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORTS.


SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

 INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
 26.00   25 NNE DULUTH            MN  ST. LOUIS        1022 AM
                 PEQUAYWAN LAKE
 24.40   DULUTH                   MN  ST. LOUIS        1150 AM
                 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE...MAX WIND
                 GUST 53 MPH ON 12/25
 24.00   5 NW TWO HARBORS         MN  LAKE             0847 AM
 19.50   CLOQUET                  MN  CARLTON          1100 AM
 14.50   4 S BRUNO                MN  PINE             0800 AM
 14.50   ASHLAND                  WI  ASHLAND          0710 AM
 14.00   SILVER BAY               MN  LAKE             0830 AM
 14.00   INTERNATIONAL FALLS      MN  KOOCHICHING      0600 AM
 13.00   5 N PILLAGER             MN  CASS             0905 AM
 12.60   ENE FINLAND              MN  LAKE             0945 AM
                 WOLF RIDGE ELC
 12.40   KABETOGAMA               MN  ST. LOUIS        0650 AM
 12.30   MAPLE                    WI  DOUGLAS          0825 AM
 12.00   5 NW GRAND MARAIS        MN  COOK             1151 AM
                 6 INCHES FELL OVERNIGHT THROUGH CURRENT
                 TIME...SNOWING MODERATELY NOW
 10.80   SARONA                   WI  WASHBURN         0612 AM
 10.50   BRAINERD                 MN  CROW WING        0800 AM
 10.30   HAYWARD                  WI  SAWYER           0745 AM
 10.00   3 SW LITTLEFORK          MN  KOOCHICHING      1000 AM
  9.30   3 N BRAINERD             MN  CROW WING        0850 AM
  9.30   GRAND RAPIDS             MN  ITASCA           0640 AM
  9.30   3 E ORR                  MN  ST. LOUIS        1220 PM
  9.00   14 W ISABELLA            MN  LAKE             0907 AM
  9.00   GRAND PORTAGE            MN  COOK             0700 AM
  9.00   NORTHOME                 MN  KOOCHICHING      0700 AM
  8.50   3 NE NISSWA              MN  CROW WING        0815 AM
  7.50   FORT RIPLEY              MN  CROW WING        1000 AM
  7.20   7 S BIGFORK              MN  ITASCA           0830 AM
  7.00   GILE                     WI  IRON             1000 AM
  6.30   WINTER                   WI  SAWYER           0900 AM
  5.50   20 NNW GRAND MARAIS      MN  COOK             0850 AM
                 ROCKWOOD LODGE...MID GUNFLINT TRAIL
  4.00   5 N VIRGINIA             MN  ST. LOUIS        1020 AM
  2.00   ELY                      MN  ST. LOUIS        0845 AM
  2.00   EMBARRASS                MN  ST. LOUIS        0608 AM


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
319 PM CST SUN DEC 27 2009

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

1129 PM     SNOW             FARIBAULT               44.30N 93.27W
12/25/2009  M12.3 INCH       RICE               MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

1230 AM     SNOW             CHANHASSEN              44.86N 93.56W
12/26/2009  M11.3 INCH       CARVER             MN   NWS EMPLOYEE

            MEASURED AT THE NWS OFFICE.

1230 AM     SNOW             MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
12/26/2009  M9.2 INCH        HENNEPIN           MN   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            MEASURED AT THE MINNEAPOLIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

1230 AM     SNOW             ST CLOUD                45.55N 94.17W
12/26/2009  M10.0 INCH       STEARNS            MN   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            MEASURED AT THE MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON.

0700 AM     SNOW             2 NW CHASKA             44.84N 93.63W
12/26/2009  M17.0 INCH       CARVER             MN   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL

0716 AM     SNOW             WACONIA                 44.85N 93.79W
12/26/2009  M13.7 INCH       CARVER             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0716 AM     SNOW             LITTLE FALLS            45.98N 94.36W
12/26/2009  M11.0 INCH       MORRISON           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0716 AM     SNOW             CHANHASSEN              44.86N 93.56W
12/26/2009  M11.5 INCH       CARVER             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0725 AM     SNOW             ST CLOUD                45.55N 94.17W
12/26/2009  M10.4 INCH       STEARNS            MN   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            READING TAKEN AT MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON.

0802 AM     SNOW             OLIVIA                  44.78N 95.00W
12/26/2009  M15.0 INCH       RENVILLE           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            THREE INCHES OCCURRED DURING THE PAST TWENTY FOUR HOURS.

0802 AM     SNOW             ANDOVER                 45.26N 93.33W
12/26/2009  M12.5 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ONE AND ONE HALF INCHES IS 24 HOUR TOTAL.

0825 AM     SNOW             2 W PRIOR LAKE          44.73N 93.47W
12/26/2009  M14.7 INCH       SCOTT              MN   NWS EMPLOYEE

0827 AM     SNOW             ST JOSEPH               45.57N 94.32W
12/26/2009  M11.0 INCH       STEARNS            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             7 S HILLMAN             45.91N 93.89W
12/26/2009  M10.6 INCH       MORRISON           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             CONNORSVILLE            45.14N 92.09W
12/26/2009  M7.5 INCH        DUNN               WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             CARLOS                  45.97N 95.29W
12/26/2009  M10.0 INCH       DOUGLAS            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             BROWNTON                44.73N 94.35W
12/26/2009  M15.0 INCH       MCLEOD             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             ROCKFORD                45.09N 93.74W
12/26/2009  M12.0 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL

0827 AM     SNOW             ROCKFORD                45.09N 93.74W
12/26/2009  M12.0 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0827 AM     SNOW             CONNORSVILLE            45.14N 92.09W
12/26/2009  M7.5 INCH        DUNN               WI   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL

0834 AM     SNOW             MORGAN                  44.42N 94.92W
12/26/2009  M16.0 INCH       REDWOOD            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0836 AM     SNOW             PRIOR LAKE              44.73N 93.43W
12/26/2009  M14.0 INCH       SCOTT              MN   NWS EMPLOYEE

            1 INCH OF SNOW OVERNIGHT. STORM TOTAL 14.0

0905 AM     SNOW             NORTH BRANCH            45.51N 92.98W
12/26/2009  M8.5 INCH        CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0905 AM     SNOW             WATERTOWN               44.96N 93.85W
12/26/2009  M14.2 INCH       CARVER             MN   NWS EMPLOYEE

            STORM TOTAL

1030 AM     SNOW             RICHFIELD               44.88N 93.28W
12/26/2009  M11.1 INCH       HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

1040 AM     SNOW             WATERVILLE              44.22N 93.57W
12/26/2009  M21.0 INCH       LE SUEUR           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

1055 AM     SNOW             LAKEVILLE               44.68N 93.24W
12/26/2009  M12.2 INCH       DAKOTA             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

1055 AM     SNOW             MANKATO                 44.17N 93.99W
12/26/2009  M12.0 INCH       BLUE EARTH         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

1056 AM     SNOW             DONNELLY                45.69N 96.01W
12/26/2009  M11.9 INCH       STEVENS            MN   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL

1135 AM     SNOW             SACRED HEART            44.78N 95.35W
12/26/2009  M14.5 INCH       RENVILLE           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

1135 AM     SNOW             WINTHROP                44.54N 94.36W
12/26/2009  M14.0 INCH       SIBLEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0625 PM     SNOW             WATERTOWN               44.96N 93.85W
12/26/2009  M14.7 INCH       CARVER             MN   NWS EMPLOYEE

0625 PM     SNOW             7 NNW OGILVIE           45.92N 93.48W
12/26/2009  M8.2 INCH        KANABEC            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0650 PM     SNOW             SSW WELCOME             43.66N 94.62W
12/26/2009  M17.0 INCH       MARTIN             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL THUS FAR

0700 PM     SNOW             MANKATO                 44.17N 93.99W
12/26/2009  M13.0 INCH       BLUE EARTH         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL THUS FAR

1044 PM     SNOW             MANKATO                 44.17N 93.99W
12/26/2009  M14.0 INCH       BLUE EARTH         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL NOW 14

0748 AM     SNOW             OLIVIA                  44.78N 95.00W
12/27/2009  M18.0 INCH       RENVILLE           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            3 INCHES OVERNIGHT...BRINGING SNOWFALL TOTAL SINCE
            WEDNESDAY TO 18 INCHES.

0816 AM     SNOW             MURDOCK                 45.22N 95.39W
12/27/2009  M10.8 INCH       SWIFT              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0833 AM     SNOW             RUSH CITY               45.68N 92.97W
12/27/2009  M11.4 INCH       CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0833 AM     SNOW             LESTER PRAIRIE          44.88N 94.04W
12/27/2009  M16.0 INCH       MCLEOD             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0918 AM     SNOW             ST JOSEPH               45.57N 94.32W
12/27/2009  M12.5 INCH       STEARNS            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0954 AM     SNOW             ANNANDALE               45.26N 94.12W
12/27/2009  M15.0 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL

0958 AM     SNOW             BRUCE                   45.46N 91.27W
12/27/2009  M12.0 INCH       RUSK               WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SNOW TOTAL

1035 AM     SNOW             SACRED HEART            44.78N 95.35W
12/27/2009  M17.0 INCH       RENVILLE           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER