by Dennis Dalman
St. Joseph residents woke up Sunday to a record snowfall – more than 11 inches.
The snow fell steadily through the night, starting at about midnight, and continued to fall throughout most of Sunday.
Travel was virtually suspended in the wee hours of Sunday and during the day. Temperatures plunged, winds increased, making visibility a problem for motorists. There were reports of some accidents and vehicles in ditches, but there were no serious injuries or deaths in the area. Thanks to early warnings, most would-be motorists wisely decided not to drive anywhere.
The snowfall was an all-time record for that date, Dec. 9, in the greater St. Cloud area, according to St. Cloud State University’s meteorological service.
The snowfall beat the record of Dec. 9, 1961, which amounted to only 5.1 inches, according to SCSU meteorologist Bob Weisman. The last time there was more snow on one calendar day in the area was on March 1, 1965, when 14.5 inches of snow fell and again that same month on March 17, with 13 inches of snow.
So far this winter, St. Cloud has received 14.8 inches of snow, which is at this date 2.8 inches above average and more than half of the 27.4 inches of snow that fell last winter, which was virtually snowless until toward the end of the season.
Temperatures were in the single digits, teens and 20s most of the week. They are expected to remain brisk for the foreseeable future, according to all weather reports. No additional major snowfalls are yet on the horizon for St. Joseph and the surrounding area.