Heavy Snow - December 8-9, 2012

The December 8-9, 2012 snowstorm is the largest snowstorm for the Twin Cities since the 13.8 inches that fell in the February 20-21, 2011 storm.

Winter arrived in a big way across central and southern Minnesota with a winter storm and blizzard that began late in the day of December 8 and tapered off late in the evening on December 9. A potent area of low pressure moved from southern Montana across southern South Dakota on December 9th and to Lake Huron by the 10th. There were copious amounts of moisture with this storm along with plenty of cold air to assure most of the precipitation would fall as snow. The heaviest snow fell in a 60 mile wide band from Canby and Olivia in west central Minnesota, eastward across the northern Twin Cities and further east into West Central Wisconsin. winter storm warnings were posted for the Twin Cities, with blizzard warnings across western Minnesota.

Some of the higher storm totals found include 17.3 inches at Sacred Heart in Renville County and 16.5 inches in Forest Lake in Washington County and 15.2 inches at Maplewood in Ramsey County. The Twin Cities International Airport measured 10.6 inches making this the largest snowstorm at the Twin Cities International Airport since February 20-21, 2011. The largest snowstorm in December is the "Domebuster" storm of December 10-11, 2010.

The 10.5 inches that fell on December 9th at the Twin Cities International Airport is the 4th highest calendar day snowfall for December.

Top Four Calendar Day Snowfalls for December (beginning with the winter of 1884-85)

date        snowfall (inches)
12/11/2010  16.3   (December 10 - 11 storm total = 17.1)
12/28/1982  12.0   (December 27 - 28 storm total = 16.5)
12/17/1908  10.8
12/9/2012   10.5
This snow had high water content with it with precipitation amounts from .75 to over an inch of liquid for the storm total. The Twin Cities International Airport saw .95 inches of liquid from this event, the heaviest daily precipitation total since July 24, 2012. The warm pavement at the start of the storm, coupled with the high water content and the rapidly cooling temperatures caused secondary roads to have washboard ice for days after the event, making travel difficult. High temperatures in the low 40's helped to melt this snow on December 12 and travel became easier.

National Weather Service Storm Summaries


Listed below is a Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service.


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
115 PM CST FRI DEC 14 2012

...FINAL SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM THE DEC 8-9 STORM...

SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

 INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------
 17.30   SACRED HEART             MN  RENVILLE
 17.00   3 SE LAKE ELMO           MN  WASHINGTON
 16.50   1 SW CHISAGO CITY        MN  CHISAGO
 16.50   FOREST LAKE              MN  WASHINGTON
 16.50   3 SW ISANTI              MN  ISANTI
 16.30   HUGO                     MN  WASHINGTON
 16.20   MENOMONIE                WI  DUNN
 16.00   CLEAR LAKE               MN  SHERBURNE
 15.90   4 SSE SILVER CREEK       MN  WRIGHT
 15.50   ROBERTS                  WI  ST. CROI
 15.30   3 SSE HAM LAKE           MN  ANOKA
 15.20   MENOMONIE                WI  DUNN
 15.00   1 SW MONTEVIDEO          MN  CHIPPEWA
 15.00   SPRING VALLEY            WI  PIERCE
 14.70   EAU CLAIRE               WI  EAU CLAIRE
          OFFICIAL NWS OBSERVATION FROM WQOW.
 14.70   1 ESE MILROY             MN  REDWOOD
 14.30   ELK MOUND                WI  DUNN
 14.20   1 NNW COLD SPRING        MN  STEARNS
 14.10   2 WNW RICHFIELD          MN  HENNEPIN
 14.00   3 W ROSEMOUNT            MN  DAKOTA
 14.00   2 NE BUFFALO             MN  WRIGHT
 14.00   4 E ELLSWORTH            WI  PIERCE
 13.80   1 NE STILLWATER          MN  WASHINGTON
 13.80   SE MAPLE LAKE            MN  WRIGHT
 13.70   1 WSW LITTLE CANADA      MN  RAMSEY
 13.60   CHANHASSEN               MN  CARVER
          OFFICIAL NWS OBSERVATION FROM THE
          NWS OFFICE IN CHANHASSEN
 13.50   HASTINGS                 MN  DAKOTA
 13.50   1 NE ELK MOUND           WI  DUNN
 13.50   5 ENE MINNEAPOLIS        MN  RAMSEY
 13.50   SPRING LAKE PARK         MN  ANOKA
 13.30   1 NNW NORTH ST PAUL      MN  RAMSEY
 13.30   3 N BOYCEVILLE           WI  DUNN
 13.30   2 N WILLMAR              MN  KANDIYOHI
 13.30   2 SW STILLWATER          MN  WASHINGTON
 13.30   WILLMAR                  MN  KANDIYOHI
 13.20   1 E MINNEAPOLIS          MN  HENNEPIN
 13.20   3 WSW PRINCETON          MN  SHERBURNE
 13.10   2 NE MINNEAPOLIS         MN  HENNEPIN
 13.00   NW EAU CLAIRE            WI  EAU CLAIRE
 13.00   2 SW STILLWATER          MN  WASHINGTON
 13.00   3 NW REDWOOD FALLS       MN  REDWOOD
 13.00   ANNANDALE                MN  WRIGHT
 13.00   ST PAUL                  MN  RAMSEY
 12.90   MADISON                  MN  LAC QUI PARLE
 12.70   1 ENE ST MICHAEL         MN  WRIGHT
 12.50   N CAMBRIDGE              MN  ISANTI
 12.50   1 SSW RIVER FALLS        WI  PIERCE
 12.50   3 NE BURNSVILLE          MN  DAKOTA
 12.40   LITTLE FALLS             MN  MORRISON
 12.30   7 ESE ST CROIX FALLS     WI  POLK
 12.20   2 N MAPLEWOOD            MN  RAMSEY
 12.20   RICE                     MN  BENTON
 12.10   2 E HAM LAKE             MN  ANOKA
 12.00   1 WSW GOLDEN VALLEY      MN  HENNEPIN
 12.00   9 NNE BIRD ISLAND        MN  RENVILLE
 12.00   3 W ELLSWORTH            WI  PIERCE
 12.00   ST CROIX FALLS           WI  POLK
 12.00   1 NE WATSON              MN  CHIPPEWA
 12.00   MILACA                   MN  MILLE LACS
 12.00   5 ESE CAMBRIDGE          MN  ISANTI
 11.80   NNW WATERTOWN            MN  CARVER
 11.80   DURAND                   WI  PEPIN
 11.70   1 E ST CLOUD             MN  STEARNS
 11.50   1 SSE SARTELL            MN  STEARNS
 11.40   4 SSW MINNEAPOLIS        MN  HENNEPIN
 11.40   3 SW MINNEAPOLIS         MN  HENNEPIN
 11.30   1 N EDINA                MN  HENNEPIN
 11.20   ST CLOUD                 MN  STEARNS
          OFFICIAL NWS OBSERVATION
 11.00   ANDOVER                  MN  ANOKA
 11.00   1 SW LITTLE FALLS        MN  MORRISON
 11.00   2 W PRIOR LAKE           MN  SCOTT
 11.00   ELK RIVER                MN  SHERBURNE
 11.00   MELROSE                  MN  STEARNS
 11.00   3 SSW WOLF CREEK         MN  CHISAGO
 11.00   ROCKFORD                 MN  HENNEPIN
 11.00   BRANDON                  MN  DOUGLAS
 11.00   ALBANY                   MN  STEARNS
 10.80   6 WNW ELLSWORTH          WI  PIERCE
 10.80   1 SE CHASKA              MN  CARVER
 10.70   1 S HAMPTON              MN  DAKOTA
 10.60   MINNEAPOLIS              MN  HENNEPIN
          OFFICIAL NWS OBSERVATION TAKEN AT
          THE MSP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
 10.60   DASSEL                   MN  MEEKER
 10.50   MORA                     MN  KANABEC
 10.50   RED WING                 MN  GOODHUE
 10.50   REDWOOD FALLS            MN  REDWOOD
 10.50   RIDGELAND                WI  DUNN
 10.40   2 W MONTGOMERY           MN  LE SUEUR
 10.30   5 NNE BIG LAKE           MN  SHERBURNE
 10.30   6 ESE DRESSER            WI  POLK
 10.10   ROSEMOUNT                MN  DAKOTA
 10.10   LONG PRAIRIE             MN  TODD
 10.00   2 SW ROSEVILLE           MN  RAMSEY
 10.00   1 SSE BLOOMINGTON        MN  HENNEPIN
 10.00   1 NW MILAN               MN  CHIPPEWA
 10.00   2 E STANLEY              WI  CLARK
 10.00   WACONIA                  MN  CARVER
 10.00   2 NNW RED WING           MN  GOODHUE
 10.00   3 SW CARLOS              MN  DOUGLAS
 10.00   CHIPPEWA FALLS           WI  CHIPPEWA
 10.00   2 ESE NEW AUBURN         WI  CHIPPEWA
 10.00   CARLOS                   MN  DOUGLAS
  9.80   4 NE WOODBURY            MN  WASHINGTON
  9.80   1 N WOODBURY             MN  WASHINGTON
  9.60   WATERTOWN                MN  CARVER
  9.20   1 SW EDINA               MN  HENNEPIN
  9.10   HAMBURG                  MN  CARVER
  9.00   HOLCOMBE                 WI  CHIPPEWA
  9.00   CLAYTON                  WI  POLK
  9.00   HOLCOMBE                 WI  CHIPPEWA
  9.00   1 SSW JORDAN             MN  SCOTT
  9.00   3 N KIMBALL              MN  STEARNS
  8.80   JIM FALLS                WI  CHIPPEWA
  8.70   3 ENE MONTGOMERY         MN  RICE
  8.70   1 SSW LONSDALE           MN  RICE
  8.70   JIM FALLS                WI  CHIPPEWA
  8.20   NEW PRAGUE               MN  SCOTT
  8.00   1 NNE CUMBERLAND         WI  BARRON
  8.00   CUMBERLAND               WI  BARRON
  7.90   2 SE CHETEK              WI  BARRON
  7.50   2 NNW CRYSTAL            MN  HENNEPIN
  7.20   1 W WOODLAND             MN  HENNEPIN
  7.10   LAMBERTON                MN  REDWOOD
  7.00   2 N CUMBERLAND           WI  BARRON
  7.00   RIVER FALLS              WI  PIERCE
  6.50   CHETEK                   WI  BARRON
  6.50   3 N ALEXANDRIA           MN  DOUGLAS
  6.20   HAUGEN                   WI  BARRON
  6.00   5 ESE NEW PRAGUE         MN  RICE
  6.00   MOTLEY                   MN  MORRISON
  5.90   5 WNW LADYSMITH          WI  RUSK
  5.70   3 SE NEW ULM             MN  BROWN
  5.70   MORRIS                   MN  STEVENS
  5.70   2 WNW LADYSMITH          WI  RUSK
  5.50   1 SE HENDERSON           MN  SIBLEY
  5.50   SPRINGFIELD              MN  BROWN
  5.50   2 SE CAMERON             WI  BARRON
  5.20   CANNON FALLS             MN  GOODHUE
  5.00   MADELIA                  MN  WATONWAN
  5.00   5 NW GLEN FLORA          WI  RUSK
  5.00   ZUMBROTA                 MN  GOODHUE
  5.00   1 S LADYSMITH            WI  RUSK
  5.00   OWATONNA                 MN  STEELE
  5.00   MADELIA                  MN  WATONWAN
  4.90   4 E NERSTRAND            MN  GOODHUE
  4.90   ONAMIA                   MN  MILLE LACS
  4.70   3 WSW PRINCETON          MN  SHERBURNE
  4.40   1 E OWATONNA             MN  STEELE
  4.30   NORTH MANKATO            MN  NICOLLET
  3.80   FARIBAULT                MN  RICE
  3.60   1 WSW WASECA             MN  WASECA
  2.10   SW ELLENDALE             MN  STEELE
  2.00   WELLS                    MN  FARIBAULT
  1.70   4 E MANKATO              MN  BLUE EARTH
  1.00   1 NE FAIRMONT            MN  MARTIN
  1.00   WINNEBAGO                MN  FARIBAULT
  1.00   3 SE ALBERT LEA          MN  FREEBORN
  0.70   1 S BLUE EARTH           MN  FARIBAULT
  0.40   FAIRMONT                 MN  MARTIN