Before moving here, you may have heard people joke about Minnesota winters. We often get called “Minnesnowta” and many know it can get pretty cold around here during the winter months. Here are some tips on how to handle your first Minnesota winter.
Tip 1: Invest in proper attire.
We’re talking the whole get up; a good jacket, warm sturdy winter boots, a hat, pair of gloves and a scarf. Dressing for the weather is key to surviving the winter. You lose most of your body heat from your feet and your head, which means both winter boots and a hat are mandatory. Not to mention, not all sidewalks are shoveled right away so a winter boot that is at least calf-height is a safe bet.
Investing in a nice winter jacket will pay off in the end. Choose one that will keep you warm enough for the activity level you plan on doing. Remember, not all jackets are created equal, you will want the one you are walking to the office in to be warmer than the one you are skiing in.
Tip 2: Check the weather frequently
The snowfall in Minnesota varies from 36 inches to 70 inches depending the location. Some days two inches will be forecasted but only half an inch falls. However, the snow will directly impact your commute to work. Checking the weather will allow you to plan ahead so you can still make it on time to work or any other commitments.
The temperature can also vary by about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Some days may require extra layering, while other days you may be able to get by with a lighter jacket. Winter weather throws us through hoops all season long, so checking the weather is a must.
Tip 3: Pack your car
It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to Minnesota winters. Pack your car with the essentials such as winter gear (winter boots, hats, gloves), a shovel to dig yourself out, first aid kit, a blanket and a tow strap. Winter roads can be unforgiving and send you straight into the ditch. Packing an emergency kit in your car will assure you that if that does happen you will be safe.
Tip 4: Have fun!
Yes, it gets cold and snowy in Minnesota during the winter but that also means there are plenty of activities to do. Check out the Winter Carnival in St. Paul where you can listen to live music and see amazing ice carvings. Many state parks offer sledding hills, Spirit Mountain in Duluth offers an abundance of alpine ski and snowboard trails and the Three Rivers Park district has plenty of Nordic skiing trails.
For more winter fun and other Minnesota information, check out our Twin Cities resource page!