List of Duluth Winters and what they are Remembered For

Although Duluth is known for — and by some feared — for its winters, they tend to run together in our memories. Everyone who experienced it recalls the Mega Storm of 1991 and there was a long cold snap a few years ago, but by and large the various storms and other winter climate events are forgotten or the memories get mashed together.

So, in an effort to sort them out I tossed together a brief and somewhat vague list of some winter moments that have been marked on Perfect Duluth Day in the past (with links) or have been loosely referenced on the web as having been more wintery than other winters. (As the comments have come in I’ve added a few more links from Zenith City Online and notes regarding conditions of some years.)

So, it goes a little something like this …

2017-’18 | Frozen Wiener Storm / Holiday Mess
2013-’14 | Snownami, or Crouching Branches, Biting Tiger / Insane Record-breaking Winter 2014 (Twenty-three days below zero — second-coldest winter on record)
2011-’12 | Leap Day Snowmageddon
2006-’07 | The Great Whiteout
1999-’00 | Purportedly mild.
1995-’96 | It was cold.
1991-’92 | Halloween Mega Storm
1983-’84 | The Great Thanksgiving Blizzard
1978-’79 | Particularly cold.
1963 | Particularly cold.
1958-’59 | Particularly cold.
1936 | Particularly cold.
1921-’22 | Bridge-cable Snapping Snow Barrage
1915-’16 | Heavy snow year.
1913-’14 | White Hurricane
1905-’06 | Mataafa Storm
1891-’92 | Drowning in Drifts
1884-’85 | Coldest air temperature record set at -41 F
1874-’75 | Mammoth Storm / Coldest Winter on Record



about 12 months ago

2013-2014 was my first winter as a homeowner. I remember crying a lot.

Tony D.

about 12 months ago

Here are a few more for the list:

March 9, 1892
Feb. 22, 1922
Nov. 7, 1913's "White Hurricane"

And while it rained more than snowed, you could include the "Mataafa" or "Thanksgiving" storm of Nov. 28-30 1905: http://zenithcity.com/archive/legendary-tales/the-mataafa-storm/


about 12 months ago

I do not know but was 1999 a mild winter? I just remember that is the winter I did not ever wear a winter coat. I also moved from Duluth, to Virginia MN and then to the cities....spent a lot of time in Hibbing too that winter....like I said, I just remember not wearing or needing a winter coat.

Daine Billmark

about 12 months ago

1999 definitely was mild.  I was a freshman on "Griggs Beach" at UMD in January in a t-shirt.  There was a snow/ice storm that hit the following year 00-01 where classes were cancelled.


about 12 months ago

March '85 we had a shut-the-town-down blizzard. I remember shoveling out my friend's car in front of the NorShor and he twisted his ankle when he tripped on the top of a parking meter.

Jim Richardson

about 12 months ago

On my channel, all my videos from Winter 2014 refer to it as the "insane record-breaking Winter 2014," so that is how I think we should all refer to it. 

Helmut Flaag

about 12 months ago

Word LesterLynn, winter should leave you making promises you won't keep to your creator...  Actual F'N Snow, and the minimum amount I require to sustain my chakras. Maybe even build a jump. But for the remainder, how about, One Inch MN Winters Forever or Is This All You Got Winters 1999-2019. 

The strong will survive.

Helmut Flaag

about 12 months ago

And if further proof is required that a harsh Duluth winter provides one with the true grit required to say win the Medal of Honor, one need look no further than the lost tale of one Henry Alexius Courtney Jr. 

Helmut Flaag

about 12 months ago

Side note: A curious fact about our seven Medal of Honor recipients who fought at Okinawa, is that the guy from Duluth, MN is the only one who was actually killed there. When you read all seven accounts, they each boggle the mind in their own way, especially that of Desmond Doss. But our very own Henry survives all those brutal Duluth winters through the 1920s and 30s, the trials and tribulations of childhood, gets a bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota and then a law degree at Loyola, only to die in an exploding hell going balls out for his fellow countrymen.

That interests me.

Helmut Flaag

about 11 months ago

Here I just learned from my neighbor moments ago the DNT beat me to this story, on Veterans Day. This is the price one pays not getting home delivery. I came to it by way of Lana Turner in a Life magazine from the 1940s, which led to reading up on Johnny Stompanato who also fought on Okinawa as well as Peleliu before being famously taken down by Cheryl Crane. More impressive however is my neighbor's old man who fought the Germans across the Remagen Bridge where he was hit by the 88s ending his career fighting the Nazis -- because he didn't become an asshole Whereas you'd have to almost think Johnny -- surely one before the war, was only made worse. Because getting stabbed to death by a 14-year-old girl is probably more often than not an indicator you fucked up somewhere along the line.

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