Great Halloween Mega Storm of 1991

Trick or Treat Blizzard

A severe winter storm dubbed the Great Halloween Mega Storm struck the upper Midwest. Minnesota bore the brunt of the storm. Blizzard conditions occurred with wind gusts frequently to 40 to 50 mph. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch at 4:00 am on the 31st with a potential of a foot of snow.Snow began to fall about 11:30am in the Twin Cities, which was much earlier than first anticipated.

8.2 inches of snow fell by midnight on the 31st at the Twin Cities International Airport, the most for the entire month of October on record for the Twin Cities. The storm intensified and moved to southeast Iowa by the morning of Friday, November 1. Meanwhile in southern Minnesota and in Iowa, where the precipitation remained as rain, one to three inches of ice formed on surfaces. This was the costliest ice storm in Iowa’s history through 1991. Snow removal became difficult as the snow had started falling on warm pavement, which melted at first and then froze into icy ruts that proved to be very difficult to remove. 18.5 inches fell on November 1 at the Twin Cities International Airport, snow blowers in the metro area quickly sold out.

By the time the storm finally ended on November 2, Duluth received 37 inches of snow, which was the largest single snowstorm total for Minnesota until 46.5 inches fell from January 6-8, 1994 near Finland in Cook County. Minneapolis ended up with 28 inches, and International Falls 18 inches. For Duluth and Minneapolis, this set new all time records for single storm totals. These two cities received nearly half their normal seasonal snows in this one storm.

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

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