Snowiest February

Winds in excess of 30 MPH didn’t stop Dick Kelley from clearing out his sidewalk early Sunday afternoon.

34.72” is most on record for Tracy
By Seth Schmidt

Congratulations, hearty Tracy area people. February snowfall totals in Tracy are a modern-day record.
Through Tuesday morning, 34.72” of snow had been logged in Tracy during the month of February. The nearly three-feet of February snow in Tracy is greater than the new 31.6” February snowfall record that has been set at the Southwest Outreach and Research Station at Lamberton. The previous snowiest February on record for the University of Minnesota research site, set in 1962, was 22.5.” The February snowfall record could grow, since Thursday is the last day of the month.
The National Weather Service has reported that the 36.2” of February snow recorded at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport through Tuesday is also a new record, breaking a previous 1962 mark of 26.5.” The record Twin Cities February snowfall is just 1.48” greater than Tracy’s snow totals through Tuesday. Since historically, Tracy and Southwest Minnesota receive less snow and precipitation than East Central Minnesota, local residents can at least unofficially claim bragging rights to also have endured the snowiest February on record for the area.
National Weather Service data for the Twin Cities show that February 2019 snowfall dwarfs previous Minnesota February snow totals dating to the late 1800s. The next snowiest Februaries in Minnesota, ranking just below 1962, are 1909-24.2”; 1967-23.7”; and 2004 & 1936, 19.7”. A 17.8” snow total in 1893 is ranked as the eighth snowiest February on record.
The National Weather Service has called February, 2019, the sixth-snowiest month ever documented for Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Almost five feet
Heavy February snowfall in Tracy followed a succession of snowstorms in late January. From Jan. 18-31, 22.11” of snow fell in Tracy. Combined with February’s 34.72” snowfall total, Tracy has now received 56.83” of snow over the past six weeks. That’s nearly five feet of snow in a month and a half.
Since Jan. 18, the Tracy area has experienced 26 days with measurable snow.
It’s been cold, too. Since mid-January, Tracy has had 26 days with sub-zero temperatures. Icebox lows of -25 and -28 on Jan. 29-30 brought the area’s coldest weather since 1996.
The harsh winter weather, ironically, followed unusually mild temperatures in early January. The January thaw brought eight days when the mercury rose above 32 degrees between Jan. 1-15, including a 44-degree reading on Jan. 4.

Latest storms
The past week brought two more storms.
An eight-inch snowfall and high winds Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 19-20, shutdown activities and kept schools closed Wednesday. A storm system Friday through Sunday brought 5.1” of snow. Travel became increasingly difficult Saturday evening. A blizzard warning went into effect Saturday at midnight, and remained in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday. Sustained winds of 30 to 35 MPH, and a gust of 44 MPH at 9:35 a.m. Sunday, closed area roads and highways.
Tracy schools were closed Monday because of difficult road conditions in the country.
The Minnesota State Patrol asked Tracy Police to open the Veterans Memorial Center Sunday morning as a shelter for stranded travelers. But Police Chief Jason Lichty said that those marooned by the storm found shelter with acquaintances.