MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) -- If you've lived in Minnesota any length of time you've heard it before, "there's always a big snowstorm during the boys' basketball state tournament".

With a strong possibility of seeing snow on Thursday and Friday this week, which happens to coincide with this year's state boys' basketball tournament, that lore of the snowstorm lives on.

However, do the facts actually back up the legend?

The Minnesota State Climatology office breaks it all down for us.

They looked at how often it had snowed four inches or more during the state high school boys' basketball tournament.  The tournament began in 1913 and was originally three days long.  Later the tournament expanded to cover four days by the 1990s.

The Climatology office looked at snowfall for each day of the tournament.  The number of times it snowed four inches or more during the 101 years the tournament has been held.  They say just 10 times in 101 years four inches or more of snow fell during "tourney time".  This means that only 10 percent of the time has there actually been a "tournament snowstorm".

On the flip side, the chances of having a balmy day of at least 50 degrees were looked at. Forty-two years out of the 101 years had at least one temperature in the 50s during the boys' basketball state tournament.  So, we're four times more likely to have temps in the 50s than we are to have a snowstorm.

The Climatology office even went one step further, in the last 40 years or so, the legend has dropped the 'basketball' part and more commonly suggests a 'tournament snowstorm', to cover the multiple state tournaments in the variety of sports. Because the state tournament season now lasts over a month, there of course is going to be a much greater chance of seeing a heavy event at least one of the four to five weeks.

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They say in order to have a 'real' tournament snowstorm (in the historical sense of the legend) it does have to fall during the boys' basketball state tournament, which this year runs Wednesday through Saturday.


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