Talk about a tale of two winters! Last winter, Duluth and many other places around Minnesota saw the snowiest winter (or one of the snowiest winters) ever recorded. One year later, and we are facing the exact opposite situation.

While we've gotten a number of precipitation events (mostly in the form of rain) so far this winter season, the amount of actual snowfall is shockingly far away from where we were one year ago - on a pace for a record of a different kind.

Just for comparison, last winter we had seen 82.3 inches of snow through February 13 in Duluth. That was 23.5 inches above normal for what we normally see by February 13. As you likely remember very well, we continued to get snow in the subsequent weeks, pushing us to set an eventual record for snowiest winter ever in Duluth at 140.1 inches


This winter, we are well below our average by this time of year of 58.8 inches of snow by February 13. How far below? A whopping 41.3 inches below the normal. Compare that to last year, and we are 64.8 inches below what we got by this time in 2023. That's nearly 5 and a half feet less than we had at this time last year!


We are currently standing above the record lowest snowfall amount through February 13, which was only 9.9 inches back in the winter of 1930-1931 - but not by much. That winter eventually ended with a total of 32 inches of snow by the end of the season. Not the least snowy winter of all time, but one of the 5 least snowy in Duluth's recorded history.

READ MORE: Believe it or not, March is not Minnesota's snowiest month - here's what is

With the Climate Prediction Center not highlighting any great odds of above-normal snowfall over the next several weeks, we're don't exactly seem bound to make up for a bunch of lost snowfall in the coming weeks.

If we don't get any more snow for the rest of the season, we would shatter the previous record of least snowy winter by several inches. Now, it is still quite possible we could see some snow yet this season to add on to the measly 17.5 inches we've seen so far in Duluth, but it is continuing to look like we'll be seeing one of the least snowy winters ever recorded in Duluth when you consider the path we're on right now.

Here's a look at the 15 least snowy winters in Duluth's recorded weather history so you can compare where we are right now to what we've seen over the decades:

The 15 Least Snowy Winters On Record In Duluth History

Since the National Weather Service began keeping weather records in Duluth in the late 1800s, here are the 15 winters with the lowest snowfall totals on historical record.

It is worth noting that the official records from 1941-today have been recorded at the area now known as the Duluth International Airport (away from the lake, on top of the hill). Before then, various locations closer to Lake Superior had been used for official weather recording data. For anyone that knows anything about how Lake Superior and the hill play a role in temperature and snow, you can see how this makes older records inherently different.

While these records note the "least snowy winters", they actually include all seasonal snowfall from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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