Brrrrrr! Winter all over again.
That's the way it seemed in Minot Monday. On the heels of a spring-teasing 46 degrees on Saturday, a return to single-digit temperatures with gusty winds and snow underfoot by Monday morning was chilling proof that March would go "out like a lion."
Although Minot was on the northern edge of a spring storm that resulted in the National Weather Service issuing blizzard warnings to much of the state, the brush with the blizzard was close enough to put a crushing end to any hope of spring making a balmy appearance. Reminders could be seen throughout the city.
Although Minot escaped heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions that blew through much of the state Monday, the city still experienced a return to winter-like conditions.
At the International Airport lightly clad travelers scurried to reach warm vehicles. Boats and jet skis parked in many residences found their tarpaulins covered with snow as if winter would never leave. Geese in Minot's Oak Park huddled down as a defense against the cold and wind. A large red hammock hanging between two trees in northwest Minot, perhaps used for its intended purpose Saturday, was partially filled with snow and rocking in strong winds Monday.
Minot's official snowfall total for the 24 hour period ending at 8 a.m. Monday was 1.2 inches, far less than what was falling elsewhere in the state, but it was little consolation for Minot and area residents eager to get spring yardwork and other seasonal chores underway.
North Dakotans know they can expect spring snowstorms but, nevertheless, they are never overly pleased to experience them. Snowfall reports in the region ranged from about an inch in Crosby to eight inches in Harvey. Other areas reported even high amounts with substantial drifting due to very strong winds.
"I'm not very good at judging but I'd say we have a good foot," said Dianne Schell, Underwood, at mid-afternoon Monday. "Where it's blowing there's drifts probably three feet high."
The reported snowfall total before 9 a.m. in Underwood was 7.2 inches and still the snow came down. At Washburn similar conditions were reported.
"It's pretty heavy, really wet," said Tim Bauer, Cenex of Washburn about 3 p.m. Monday. "In places there's over a foot. The top layer is blowing around."
A NWS report shortly after 10:30 a.m. Monday revealed eight inches of snow on the ground in Harvey and it was still coming down.
"It's kind of miserable over here. There's lot's of businesses closed," said Ann Adams, Harvey Chamber of Commerce, on Monday afternoon. "I think I heard over 10 inches. It's blowing so hard now I can't tell if it is snowing or not."
With a return to temperatures below the freezing mark, less than 10 degrees in Minot tonight, it seems even a light snowfall will take a few days to melt away. Today's high in Minot is expected to reach the upper 20s, eventually rising to 46 degrees by Saturday.