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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY and Areavoices.com, Published January 22 2013

'Snirt' and the 'Black Blizzard' of 1975

The strong wind that accompanied the arctic cold front that moved through the area on Saturday, not only brought cold and blowing snow, but also a layer of snirt. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, snirt is a mixture of dirt and snow.

The lack of snow cover in the area has left many of the fields partially exposed. That allowed the strong wind on Saturday to pick up some dirt that mixed in with the blowing snow. Although not all areas have a noticeable brown hue to the snow, but the areas that due, it is most noticeable on the tops of the drifts. The past two decades have recorded so many snowy winters that snirt is a word that has not been used much, but historically dirty snow was much more common.

The famed “Super Bowl Blizzard” of 1975 that crippled much of Minnesota did not drop much snow locally, but the wind was so fierce that houses were covered in so much snirt that in North Dakota it was referenced as the “Black Blizzard”.