Snowy contrast between two winters

Jarrod Schoenecker


Sunday, Jan. 14, was the first time Montgomery’s snow plows had hit the street for snowy weather this 2023-2024 winter season. Last year, at this time, the city had used up its entire budget for snow removal, and salt and sanding.

Public Works Supervisor Nick Filipek said, “So far we have only used 30 hours sanding, 103 tons of salt/sand and 20 hours plowing.” That was as of Jan. 16. In contrast, the city had used up 1,108 hours for snow removal, and salting and sanding, and had used 312 tons of salt/sand by Feb. 1, 2023.

As well, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had received 52.1 inches of snow by Jan. 19, 2023, which was above the seasonal average of 51.2 inches. This season the airport has received only 7.3 inches of snow.

Daytime temperatures this week according to the National Weather Service though will remain well above normal and often above freezing. This is a stark contrast to last week when we had a stretch where some of the daytime highs, for the first time this winter, did not go above zero.

Last week’s temperatures allowed for the ponding and freezing of the skating rink for the first time this season though, allowing for residents to take advantage of the new lighting system and warming house.

Where will winter take us from here? Last year was the third snowiest on record at the airport at 90.3 inches. The snowiest year was 1984 with 98.6 inches and second snowiest was 1982 at 95 inches. Localized snow had the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen receiving a seasonal total of 101.7 inches last season.

If we were to receive no additional snow this year, it would be the least snowiest year on record, dating back to 1884. This appears unlikely since there is still a lot of winter left. It is quite the snowy contrast in seasons so far though.

Montgomery Public Works has appreciated the break this season, allowing them to get additional work and maintenance done on equipment, according to Filipek. However, if winter remains as warm as this week, residents may not get too much time to utilize the outdoor ice rink at North Park.

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