Scenes from a Classic Minnesota Winter

Posted by MNAngler On December - 12 - 2010

As a kid growing up in Minnesota in the 70s and 80s (yes, I’m that old), I remember snow and lots of it. The snowplows would build drifts 5-6ft tall at the end of our driveway. It was a kid’s winter paradise with snowmen, snow forts, snowball fights.

With the exception of one year, the 90s brought relatively mild winters. A few inches of snow here and there and even a brown Christmas or two.

In recent years, the classic Minnesota winter has returned. We’ve seen large snowfalls and arctic temperatures reminiscent of the winters I had as a child.

But this weekend, Old Man Winter outdid itself, even for Minnesota. The state was hit with a snowstorm of epic proportions. It was the 5th largest snow storm on record and the most snow in one storm since the Halloween blizzard of 1991. The official snowfall registered at the MSP airport was 17″, but some suburbs got more than 21″.

It was snowing so hard that the tracks I made in my yard at 10am had disappeared by 3pm–like I had never been out there. You couldn’t even tell I had a driveway. I measured a little over 16″ on my driveway when I started snow blowing. By the time I was done, another 1/2″ of snow had fallen. I was darned glad I had gotten up at 4am on Black Friday, 2009 to buy my snowblower.


I had another inch or two to snowblow this morning. Between the snowplow and my work on the driveway, my mailbox was covered in a mound of snow.


Naturally, the snow affected local events and activities. The Minnesota Vikings game was first delayed from Sunday afternoon to Monday night due to the opposing team (New York Giants) not being able to get into town in time. It was eventually moved to Detroit because the Metrodome (now known as Mall of America field) collapsed under the weight of the snow.

While the snow and single digit temps (Fahrenheit) that followed caused a lot of hassles and kept most people holed up in their homes for a few days, it’s a welcome sight to winter sports aficionados and kids alike. They’ll spend the next few months frolicking in the winter wonderland and make the most of the conditions that Old Man Winter brings us.

After all, we’re Minnesotans. The state has a reputation and we’re known to be a little left of crazy to live in such conditions. But we’re still here. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

5 Responses to “Scenes from a Classic Minnesota Winter”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Norton Lam, MNAngler. MNAngler said: Pics from the big snow storm that hit Minnesota on Saturday: […]

  2. S says:

    Makes me nostalgic for my childhood, especially around this time of year.

    Also made me think of my dad regretting not spending the extra money and buying the snowblower with the 16″ augar instead of the 12″ that he got…

  3. Optimista says:

    You wouldn’t have it any other way? Oh my. You ARE left of crazy!

    In all seriousness, those photos certainly do bring back memories…

  4. tenandtwomag says:

    Thank you for this post, it brings back my early days in 1950’s and 60’s Wisconsin. Snow forts, tunnels, sledding, caroling, ice fishing… My Dad and I going out in his VW early just after the snowplow- slipping and sliding on the snow covered streets. So much fun. And my days at St. Olaf in Northfield. The month of January, never getting above zero! Frozen beards and mustaches- sometimes even eyebrows! Thanks for the memories…

  5. […] It’s been a crazy winter, or non-winter as the case may be, in Minnesota this year. Unlike last year when we had storm after storm and subzero temps, this year has been mild beyond belief with […]

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