Downtown businesses had dry enough weather Tuesday to sweep up the sidewalks in front of their storefronts, but the Greater Downtown Council says it will have to postpone today’s phase 2 project, the Lake Place Park cleanup.
“Apparently, the third time isn’t the charm,” the council said Wednesday in its postponement note, alluding to previous weather-related postponements. “We snuck the Clean Sweep of the sidewalks in yesterday but with snow in the forecast it doesn’t make sense to gather tomorrow.”
The Downtown Council will announce a new date for the Lake Place Park cleanup soon.
In may be hard to think about tornadoes during yet another snowstorm, but Minnesota will hold statewide tornado drills today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.
The drills are scheduled for 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. At those times, sirens and NOAA Weather Radios will sound in a simulated tornado warning.
According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. The state set a record of 104 in 2010.
Over in Wisconsin, the tornado drill scheduled for today was postponed because of the threat of actual tornadoes in the southeastern part of the state. The Wisconsin drill now is scheduled for Friday, with a statewide tornado watch issued at 1 p.m. and a statewide tornado warning issued at 1:45 p.m.
At least this cold weather could come in handy for something.
Duluth and other Midwest cities have a chance to go all the way this year in the Toughest Weather City Tournament on weather.com.
Minnesota boasts Duluth, International Falls and Minneapolis as its heavyweights. Green Bay, Wis., and Fargo, N.D., also are in the tournament. All of the aforementioned cities had healthy first-round leads as of Tuesday afternoon. Voting for the opening round ended at 3 a.m. today.
We at Eh? love numbers and stats, and the Department of Public Safety provided us with some about Saturday’s snowstorm. These stats pertain only to the Minnesota State Patrol for the Duluth District and are courtesy of Sgt. Curt S. Mowers.
- 49 — number of vehicles reported off the road
- 16 — number of crashes that resulted in property damage
- 6 — number of miscellaneous assists
- 3 — number of DWIs
- 1 — number of injuries from crashes
Well, hell hasn’t frozen over. But you’ll see we do have a snowfall report for Superior.
So rare is it for Superior totals to appear in a local snowfall report that the crowd of critics and cynics who populate the Internet long considered it to be a conspiracy against the Twin Ports city.
But it’s not.
The National Weather Service relies on volunteer weather spotters for most of its rain and snowfall reports from around the Northland. There are some spotters in Superior, but many happen not to be available to send reports for the early morning rain and snow roundups.
However, on Tuesday, Superior was well represented. The city saw 6 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon, according to the NWS Duluth office’s local storm report.
To the person who reported Tuesday’s total: We salute you.
If you live in Superior or any other town and want to be a volunteer weather spotter, sign up at CoCoRaHS.
We’re begging for some courtesy. Help keep the city’s cross-country ski trails in good condition by taking hikes and walks elsewhere. Footprints and other impressions (even angels) ruin the trails, so the Duluth Parks and Recreation staff would like to remind you that it’s prohibited to use them for non-skiing activities.
It’s one thing to walk on them when there’s no snow and conditions are dry, but now the trails are packed and tracked for skiers, not for walking with Fido (and who names their dog Fido these days, anyway?)
Here’s how to keep ski trails in tiptop shape:
- Ski in the direction indicated
- Try to fill any holes and smooth the track if you should fall
- Don’t let pets anywhere near trails
- Don’t hike on groomed trails
For ambulatory excursions, use the Lakewalk and other clear-of-snow paths. Skiers will thank you.
The crew at Swim Creative lived up to the second part of their name when coming up with the ingenious and selfless idea of placing a cold-weather clothing drop-off box outside the downtown Duluth office in January.
The office, located at 415 E. Superior St., sees a daily dose of heavy foot traffic, and its employees noticed many of those feet came with gloveless hands and jacketless torsos.
Initially, boxes with clothing donations stocked by employees were placed outside with a message to not leaving anything behind. If something in the box is useful, take it. Eventually, members of the community began to drop off handmade scarves and mittens as well as clothing items that meet Duluth residents’ winter needs.
“We want people to be able to stop by,” Swim Creative’s Mike Malone said. “We hoped people wouldn’t be ashamed, and they haven’t been.”
The office has gone through six or seven boxloads and welcomes any donations that will help in freezing temperatures. Anything that’s not used will be donated to Goodwill, Malone said.
Aside from the terrible play on words above, we’re serious when it comes to smart and responsible snow removal. And the Duluth Police Department is, too.
That’s why they’re reminding residents that it’s illegal to move snow from private property onto any city streets, sidewalks, alleys or other public grounds.
“A lot of people have forgotten that,” Kelly Fleissner, city manager of maintenance operations, said. “We have had lots of calls about people moving snow from their property to somebody else’s, or people moving snow from private property onto public streets or right-of-ways.”
Plus, it’s just plain rude to your neighbors and those using roads, walkways and driveways.
“It seems that with the mild winter last year everyone forgot what it’s like to have snow and how to deal with it and be patient and good neighbors,” he said.
People illegally disposing of snow in Duluth can face a fine of up to $200, police spokesman Jim Hansen said.
When a roundup of rain or snowfall totals is listed after a Northland storm, it’s rare to see a number from Superior.
It’s because we hate Superior, right? No. We love our sister by the unsalted sea.
The National Weather Service relies on volunteer weather spotters for most of its snowfall reports from around the Northland. There are some spotters in Superior, but they happen not to be available to send reports for the early morning rain and snow roundups.
If you live in Superior or any other town and want to be a volunteer weather spotter, go to CoCoRaHS to sign up.
The Lake Superior Zoo’s lovable version of Punxsutawney Phil will make an appearance at 10 a.m. today as its prairie dogs and porcupine, Spike, emerge from their holes and predict the arrival of spring.
According to Groundhog Day lore, if the animals see their shadows, there’ll be six more weeks of winter. If the shadows go unnoticed, an early spring is on the horizon.