MINOT – Here we go again. Another big overnight dump of snow, enough to keep vehicles stranded in driveways and limit traffic on city streets.
The National Weather Service warned of possible heavy snow in the region late Thursday into Friday morning. Sure enough, it happened. Snowfall totals ranged from 6 to 12 inches or more in the Minot area, more than enough to cause the necessity of digging out before trying to venture out.
Starting during the evening hours Thursday and continuing into Friday morning, Minot Police responded to numerous calls of vehicles stuck in the snow. On many roadways in the city, the snow was simply too deep to drive in, resulting in stranded vehicles blocking traffic flow. Fortunately, traffic was limited due to weather conditions.
Several area schools either cancelled classes for Friday or announced delayed openings. Minot Public Schools canceled all classes and extracurricular activities, citing “excessive” snowfall and a desire to not interfere with snow removal equipment. Many businesses were affected by snow and travel conditions too with many delayed openings. The list included Minot’s Dakota Square Mall that didn’t open its doors to the public until noon Friday.
Snowfall totals always vary from one location to another, sometimes quite dramatically. According to the NWS, reports of snowfall in the city of Minot ranged from 6 to 11 inches, 8 inches at the Minot Air Force Base, 11 inches at Lansford, 12 in Velva, and 15 in Bottineau.
While it may seem that the region has had more than its share of snow this winter, statistically speaking, that’s not really the case. Minot’s long-term average snowfall is 46 inches a year. Measurements in the area vary, but most snowfall totals for the winter equal 20 inches or more.
The all-time record is 100 inches of snow in the winter of 1949-50. The least? A mere 6.7 inches in 1925-26 and again in 1930-31. However, average snowfall for January in Minot is just over 8 inches. That mark has already been surpassed with half the month remaining.