Winter 2012: The Winter That Wasn't

By KBJR News 1

March 19, 2012 Updated Mar 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - With record high temps and a lack of snow, some businesses are seeing a sooner than anticipated end to their season, while others have reveled in the work they have been able to get done.

When it comes to Minnesota winters, this year's was far from what is deemed normal.

"Last year we were about a degree cooler and the year before that, a degree warmer so in climate it goes up and it goes down but this winter seemed to be warmer than any other one in the past," said the Northland's NewsCenter's meteorologist Adam Lorch.

A whopping eight degrees above average for much of the season;
bringing this winter into the top five warmest on record.

When it comes to snow; the northland saw about 20 inches less than usual.

For places like Spirit Mountain, the warmer winter and now record temps means an earlier-than-hoped-for season closing.

"A lot of our staff had input into the decision including our trail maintenance, our ski patrol. Basically it just came down to the snow conditions: we are plain out of snow," said Briana Johnson, director of marketing and sales at Spirit Mountain.

But the lack of winter has been a good thing for some northland companies.

Anderson and Hammack Construction says they typically have to lay off workers during the winter months due to the lack of projects...not this year.

"We kept all of our employees during the winter. Basically the more production we get out of the guys the more projects we do get done; a lot more siding and roofing projects just because of the milder temperatures and the lack of snow," said Nick Olson, co owner with Anderson-Hammack Construction.

Minnesota's largest general contractor, Kraus-Anderson Construction, says it's not necessarily more projects they have been able to complete this winter, but they have been able to make huge strides on their projects, like the new P&H Mine Pro building outside of Virginia.

"Every winter going into it you expect delays and that is what makes this winter unique because its been so mild that we haven't had those delays. So it' only helped the project, things have only moved quicker, more efficient, so it's been a good thing for us," said Greg Towner, project manager with Kraus-Anderson.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch says while temps are expected to continue to be warmer going into the spring and summer months, much needed precipitation is also expected.

Written for the web by Elayne Crecelius
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