Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Snow Resources

The tools to measure snow are simple. A ruler and a board are all that is necessary. Finding an acceptable place to measure snow that is free from wind and obstruction is a different story. Some of the difficulties measuring snow can be demonstrated in the photograph to the right. A weather bureau observer is shown walking to make instrument measurements. This was a brisk winter day in 1940 on the roof of the old Lindbergh Terminal building at the International Airport. Because of the frequent windy conditions, snow depth was measured in a field nearby. Twin Cities snowfall data was gathered at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport from 1937 to 2000. Prior to 1937, data used for the "modern" Twin Cities climate record were gathered at the U.S. Court House in downtown Minneapolis. From the winter of 2000-2001 to the winter 2003-2004 the official site for measuring snow in the Twin Cities was at Chanhassen. Beginning with the winter of 2004-2005 the measuring site returned to the airport. Automatic stations today handle many meteorological measurements, but snowfall measurements continue to consist of a person with a ruler and a snow board.

Photograph courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Regularly Updated Twin Cities Snow Climate Data

Average monthly snowfall for the Twin Cities (1981-2010 averages)

Jan   Feb   Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec    Annual     
12.1  7.8   10.2   2.5    Trace   0      0      0     Trace  .6     9.3    11.5   54.0

All-Time Twin Cities Climate Extremes

Twin Cities Snow Climate Data Summaries