Snowstorm of January 31-February 3, 2004

A prolonged snow event dumped copious amounts of snow over eastern Minnesota over a two day period. In the Twin Cities, flurries, light snow, or moderate snow was reported 45 of 47 hours from 10pm Saturday night January 31 to 8pm Monday February 2. 11 inches fell at Chanhassen with amounts just under a foot common throughout the Twin Cities and south central Minnesota. The heaviest snow total was 12.5 inches at Faribault in Rice County.

The last time a similar prolonged snow event for the Twin Cities was January 1st-3rd 1999 when there were 42 hours of continuous snowfall. The all-time longest continuous snow fall for the Twin Cities was in December 1969 when it snowed continuously 88 hours and 40 minutes.

The 10.7 inches that fell the Twin Cities from February 1-2 is the most ever for a 2-day snowfall in February. The top five 2 -day February snowfalls since 1891 are as follows..

1. 10.7 inches February 1-2, 2004
2. 10.5 inches February 9-10, 1909
3. 10.5 inches February 19-20, 1952
4.  9.3 inches February 9-10, 1939
5.  8.8 inches February 22, 1913
It is difficult to say where the 2004 event would rank for a total snowstorm total because it would involve a much deeper synoptic study of all snowstorms such as when did one storm end and another began. Even with the February 1-2, 2004 storm, .2 that fell during the afternoon on January 31st was not included, but .3 that fell in the late evening was, bringing the total to 11 inches.

Map of February 1-2, 2004 snow event from the Chanhassen National Weather Service.

Map of February 1-3, 2004 snow event from the La Crosse National Weather Service.


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Last modified: February 4, 2004