Such Hearty People We Are
Those of us who live on the Gunflint Trail should get a special badge to wear on a uniform. We’re proud of the fact we live in such a cold and snowy part of Minnesota. 20 below zero? That’s not that cold as long as you dress for it. It’s too warm to be out cross-country skiing if it’s 20 degrees above zero. We rejoice when we get more snow and want winter around for as long as we can have it. And according to the Duluth News Tribune the Gunflint Trail is the only place in Minnesota that had a Severe Winter. Yep, we’re tough folks up here and proud of it.
Minnesota winter severity: Moderately severe
The final Winter Severity Index numbers are in for stations across Northeastern Minnesota, and in many places, it was a “moderately severe” winter by Department of Natural Resources standards. The agency uses the readings primarily to calculate the effects of winter on deer survival.
One point is added to the WSI each day the temperature falls below zero, and another is added for each day the snow depth is greater than 15 inches.
The highest reading, 193, was at Poplar Lake along the Gunflint Trail. That was the only station that fell into the “severe winter” category, although Snowbank Lake near Ely was close at 177. Here are some other final readings: Grand Rapids, 98; International Falls, 150; Isabella, 159; Eveleth, 150; Cloquet, 112; Brimson, 149; Tower, 164.
Here’s how the DNR classifies winters based on the WSI:
Mild winter — WSI less than 100
Average winter — WSI of 120
Moderate winter — WSI 121-140
Moderately severe winter — WSI 141-180
Severe winter — WSI more than 180