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Spring snowfall gathers in the northland before weekend warm-up

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Welcome to spring of 2014.

Snow was a common sight throughout much of the state of Minnesota Thursday, particularly the northeastern part of the state.

The Duluth area picked up about a half foot of snow, the News Tribune reports – putting the city's yearly snow total above 104 inches and making it the 14th snowiest winter on record. It's also the second consecutive years with snowfall of more than 100 inches, the paper notes (129.4 inches fell in 2012-13).

“We were getting reports of three-inch-per-hour snowfall rates’’ Kevin Huyck, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Duluth, told the paper of Thursday's downfall.

Brainerd got hit with 3 to 4 1/2 inches, and the Dispatch described it as "wet snowman snow" that clung to trees and created a slushy mix on the road.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area saw "massive" snowflakes, as KSTP described it, from 4-7 p.m. In all, the metro got less than an inch.

St. Cloud got about half an inch, the St. Cloud Times says, much of it in the form of large, heavy flakes.

Roads became slick, leading to a number of crashes. State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow tweeted out a few photos of accidents. (Story continues after photos.)

The News Tribune put together a sampling of snowfall totals from the northland. Wrenshall, Superior led the way as 11 1/2 inches came down. A sampling of other area's measurements:

– 11 inches - Carlton

– 7 inches - Mouth of the Brule River (east of Superior), Bayfield

– 5.5 inches - McGregor, Cloquet

– 4 inches - Lutsen

– 2.8 inches - Gunflint Trail (Golden Eagle Lodge)

– 1 inch - Grand Rapids (15 miles N)

But, as promised, there are a couple days of relief in the not-too-distant future. As in, this weekend. Warmer temps are set to hit the state.KARE 11's Sven Sundgaard projects a "gorgeous weekend."

Here's a brief look at forecasts in Minnesota:

– Twin Cities: Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 33, low of 16. Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 43, low of 32. Sunday: Partly sunny with a high of 51, low of 33. Monday: Rain and snow likely, high of 36.

– Rochester: Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 35, low around 21. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 43, low of 34. Sunday: Breezy with a high of 57, low of 39. Monday: Chance of rain, high near 39.

– Marshall: Friday: Mostly sunny, high of 34, low of 21. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 49, low of 38. Sunday: Mostly sunny, high of 61, low of 34. Monday: Rain/snow likely with a high of 36.

– Duluth: Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 30, low of 9. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 33, low of 27. Sunday: Slight chance of rain with a high near 44, low of 32. Monday: Snow likely, high of 32.

– Moorhead: Friday: Partly sunny with a high of 29, low of 17. Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 45, low around 30. Sunday: Chance of rain/snow, high of 44, low of 19. Monday: Chance of snow, high near 26.

But there could be more winter looming. The St. Cloud Times, News Tribune and Brainerd Dispatch all warn of more snow (and maybe some rain mixed in) in the forecast for early next week – starting anywhere from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning, and possibly lasting until Tuesday.

Paul Douglas with the Star Tribune says it'll come in the form of rain for the metro. But just a little bit north?

“A slow moving area of low pressure will bring a mix of rain and snow to portions of the Northland Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon,” the weather service reported, according to the Dispatch.

Said Hyuck, to the News Tribune: “I think we’ll probably climb a few more places up the (snowfall) list yet this year.”

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