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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published January 22 2013

Weather Talk: Strong wind on Saturday brought mix of snow, dirt

The strong wind that accompanied the arctic cold front that moved through the area on Saturday brought cold temperatures 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, which mixed in with the blowing snow. It can still be seen in many areas and is most noticeable on the tops of the drifts.

The past two decades have recorded so many snowy winters that snirt is a term that has not been used much. Historically, dirty snow has been much more common. The “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 referred to as the “Black Blizzard.”

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