How do you feel about the winter of 2010-’11?

There’s an old saying “there really is no bad weather, just different kinds of good weather!”

Or you might say “one person’s weather trash is another’s weather treasure.” Any way you slice it one thing is for sure, you can’t please all of the people all of the time with weather.

It’s been interesting to talk to Minnesotans about our rigorous winter of 2010-’11.

As you can imagine, I get many different perspectives on our weather everywhere I go. Basically opinions about this winter fall into two camps.

Camp #1: This is a great winter!

I’ve spoken with many folks who are enjoying this winter of consistent cold and snow for outdoor recreation. It’s been an ideal winter for downhill & cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, pond hockey etc.

January 9 Cottagewood Rink.JPG

It’s been a great winter for outdoor ice rinks.

Personally, my Friday night hockey group has taken advantage of the excellent outdoor ice all winter long.

As I posted yesterday in this space… “The good side of this winter is that it has been a really great time for outdoor winter recreation. I play in a weekly Friday night pick up hockey game with “the boys of winter” at a local outdoor ice rink, and the consistent cold has produced great ice this year. As much as I want warmer weather, I will miss the great nights on the ice under the stars in a cold Minnesota sky.”

The frequent snows (60″+) have made for stunning winter scenery since mid November.

Many of you have enjoyed this “real Minnesota winter.”

Camp #2: I can’t take it anymore!

I’ve also talked to many hearty Minnesotans who are just plain sick of this winter. The frequent snowfall has caused you many headaches commuting to work.

Front walkway ice2.jpg

Massive ice chunks from the weather lab roof ice dams!

The heavy snowfall events are creating glacial ice dams on your roof and damage to your home, not to mention collapsing the Metrodome and other roofs causing major headaches and ripple effects for thousands. Baseball teams from the University of Minnesota to Louisiana are looking for places to play games this spring, with big economic consequences.

The pothole choked and heaving roads have caused damage to your car. The consistent cold is driving your heating bill through the roof, and chilling your fingers and toes to the bone. The icy walkways and parking lots are a constant danger for falls and injuries. City governments have burned through snow removal budgets, costing all of us more.

The heavy snow pack is forecast to cause record spring flooding, which may potentially cause hundreds of millions in damage.

You’re sick of winter and you’re so ready for a big thaw, now!

As you can see there are “winners and losers” in any weather scenario. The ski areas and your snow plow guy love the frequent 2″ to 3″ snowfalls. MNDOT? Not so much. The gas company loves the cold as it drives additional demand…and profit. Your home heating bill? Not so pretty this year. Roofers and ice dam removal companies are booming. Your insurance company? Not so happy.

You get the idea.

So what about you? Are you happy with this winter? Enjoying the cold and snow? Sick of looking out your window at ice chunks and snow piles the size of your kids?

Here’s your chance to let us know how you feel about this winter…and how it’s affecting your life or business.

Fire away!


  • Justin

    I would say that I fall firmly into camp #2. I am a motorcyclist, which says it all. While I can admit that the scenery has been nice, I am apprehensive about the fact that I am a new homeowner, in a split-level home, near a river. I never gave a second thought to flooding before I bought my house, but now I am scared that my downstairs floor is going to become an indoor pool this spring. We’ll have to see what happens, I guess.

  • Paul Huttner

    Hi Justin:

    If you think your basement may flood, I strongly encourage you to look into buying flood insurance, today. Most policies take 30 days to kick in. And good luck with the rising waters this spring!


  • Craig

    I’ll firmly place a foot in each camp. It was good for business in the weather lab, but it is time to move on to a thaw and rising rivers. You’ve already noted the blooming pot holes. All the more reason to appreciate spring and Twins baseball.

  • BBR

    Justin – you can also invest in drain tile, depending on your specific situation.

    For the most part, I’m camp #1 and enjoying the winter. Shoveling has been a bit of a pain, but eh – that’s life. We’ve stayed on top of raking our roof so dams haven’t been a problem for us. We also just drain tiled our basement in anticipation of spring melting.

    The amount of snow definitely got to me psychologically in January. As the snow started to touch the bottom of our first story windows, I felt like we were being smothered slowly. The feeling passed quickly though. This winter doesn’t seem as cold to me. What happened to the week in January with sub-zero highs?

  • randy

    I hate to see this winter end. W e have had so many winters with little snow. I hope next winter is just as “Bad”. When you think about it cold temps havent been a factor we average each winter 20-30 days with subzero nights we have had only 10 or so. the coldest night was -18F ive seen much colder

  • Mark

    This has been the best winter in a long time. The cross country skiing has been incredible, and I hope the deep snowpack can hang in there for another month or so. My kids love it, I love it, and though we’ve had some cold spells, they’ve been short. There have been very few days where it was too cold to go out and ski. If people don’t like snow and cold they should look at moving to a warmer place. Here’s to many more awesome winters like this!

  • Alison

    I’m enjoying the snow, though I don’t get out in it as much as I would like. The commute on a 2-3″ day isn’t so bad now that people are used to it. It’s almost as fast as a normal. With a 2-3″ snow in November the commute time triples.

    But I like the warmth too. I’m looking forward to watching the torents of water run down the street gutters and seeing the Mississippi crashing through the wide open locks at Upper St. Anthony Falls. Tonight I’ll pull out the catalogs and order some seeds!

  • Audrey

    I love the drama of snowstorms. I love the snow covered sidewalks that crunch when I walk my dog. I love the novelty of the 3-foot wide chunks of concrete snirt the plows have piled along the boulevards. I love the coziness of my house when it’s very cold and the radiators are pumping out lots of warmth and brilliant sunshine floods the house. All of these things almost make me forget the gigantic ice dams and the icicles that cover the siding.

  • Mark R

    This winter has been great! This is the kind of winter I hoped for when I moved back to Minnesota 5 years ago from a warmer climate. I can cross country ski. I can ice skate outdoors. We even made a backyard ice rink this year. The below zero weather hasn’t lasted nearly as long as some Minnesota winters I remember. This is Minnesota, what do you expect? I look forward to spring but not next week. I will enjoy the snow for as long as it is here.

  • Andy

    This has been a good MN winter. Cold temps reduce the amount of refreezing on sidewalks, which is dangerous. Temps haven’t been extremely cold though. All the snow is great for sports too. The only downer was the rain event after Christmas.

  • John

    Solidly in Camp #2. SOLIDLY.

  • Chris

    Camp #1 all the way. I’ve never seen enough snow (and no I don’t make money off snow). It really hasn’t been that cold. Could afford to have a bit more sun though.

    I mean this with good intent and humor – Camp #2’ers should be reminded it’s a free country and they are free to move about leaving more room here for us Camp #1’s.

    I spent last week in Oklahoma in the middle of the blizzard. They complained a lot less than many around these parts. And the town I was in didn’t own a snow plow.

  • Ryan Schwartz

    Definitely in Camp #2. I like winters were we have a thaw of 32 degrees or more for at least a few days to get rid of the snow mountains in residential areas. I would rather have the snow come in chunks instead of snow every three days or so. Haven’t looked at the figures, but it doesn’t feel like a normal winter based on averages, but I could be wrong. I’m sure the ice is great for hockey and ice fishing, but doesn’t seem like a real comfortable activity unless you’re moving around a bit.

  • TJ

    My heart’s in #1 – this has been the most beautiful winter in years, and I LIKE the cold and the snow. It makes me feel alive. I love driving in the snow and I’ve been out snowshoeing this year for the first time. The Winter Carnival was gorgeous! The Twin Cities really know how to celebrate a winter.

    My day to day life, though, leans #2. I live in Uptown and with the parking restrictions…well, there’s only so many times I can spend 15 minutes circling my neighborhood, park four blocks away from my apartment, and haul 50 pounds of laundry down icy sidewalks in 20-below windchill before I get just a little bitter.

  • Jeffrey

    I am solidly in camp 2. Anyone without an off street parking space has not enjoyed this winter. I am so sick of the “snow emergency dance.” I’m ready to just let the city tow my car next time.

    I am tired of cold and snow. Spring can’t get here fast enough.

    I have lived in this area my entire life and each year I hate winter more and more.

  • ML

    This winter has been the best of the seven I have spent in Minnesota. The snow has been wonderful for skiing and while I had to walk home most of the way from the airport during the Metrodome-collapsing storm, I’ll take the piles of snow any year.