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Winter Already A Lost Season For Many Minnesotans

MEDICINE LAKE (WCCO) -- It could be a rare sub-zero night Friday. The WCCO weather team says we've dipped into those negative digits only four times this year, compared to the usual 30 or so days at or below zero. And, we've only seen a single digit high temperature one day this winter.

It's already a lost season for many Minnesotans like Jacob Huber. Even in the cold temperatures Friday morning, he hauled his ice house off Medicine Lake for the winter.

"What winter?" Huber joked.

On Thursday, the Hennepin County Sheriff banned vehicles from all the lakes, which means for most people, ice houses must go, too. This year, the entire sport is now on thin ice.

"With all the sheriff's stuff going on, I thought I would get it off before I don't get a chance to come out here anymore," said Huber.

WCCO meteorologists say January is usually the snowiest month in Minnesota with more than a foot of snow, but this January we've had less than 5 inches, and in February, nothing to measure.

In Theodore Wirth Park, the only snow you'll find Friday is made by machines. So, avid cross Country skier David Byrne says the cure to his disappointment is to find the snow - wherever it is.

"I've headed up north in search of snow, Giants Ridge has good snow. This weekend I will head west to Wisconsin, Blue Hills, in search of better natural snow," said Byrne.

Huber and his fishing buddies now set their sights on summer, which doesn't seem all that far away these days.

"I love ice fishing and I wish I could keep my house out longer, there's another three weeks of good fishing left, but it is what it is," said Huber, before he drove his ice house off the lake until next year.

The winter has been a big bummer for snowmobilers, too. We've had just less than 15 inches of snow this entire season. On average, we see almost 56 inches of snow per year in the Twin Cities.


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