Unpredictable March

Larry Wood

Dear editor:
Just to clarify a point made in your March 11 article, “District digging out from blizzard.”
The U.S. National Weather Service office in Duluth, Mn. officially commences the snowfall season on July 1 (ends June 30); therefore the 284 cm (111.8 inches) amount represents the total snowfall for 2008/09.
Last year we received 166.4 cm (65.5”) so we’ve had roughly 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) more snow during the current season.
Incidentally, Duluth has recorded 161.5 cm (63.6”) during the 2008/09 period.
According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group (University of Minnesota), the first use of the term “blizzard” (from boxing, meaning a volley of punches) was by the “Vindicator” newspaper in Esterville, Iowa in March, 1870.
The term blizzard was not used by the U.S. Signal Corps Weather Service until 1876.
As for other recent weather records for International Falls, we had a low of minus-33.3 C (28 below zero F) on March 12 and highs on March 14-16 of 11.7 C (53 F), 13.9 C (57 F), and 14.4 C (58 F), respectively.
March continues to be unpredictable!
Thank you for the space.
Yours truly,
Larry Wood
Fort Frances, Ont.