"25 Photos That Perfectly Capture the Halloween Blizzard of 1991"
Well, today is the 27th Anniversary of the very memorable 1991 Halloween Blizzard. Here are some great pictures taken during the storm.
(Image credit: Brian Peterson via StarTribune)
(Image credit: Rick Sennot via StarTribune)
Recounts from the Memorable Blizzard
Here’s a wonderful mix tape from KFAI’s MinneCulture, which includes interviews from staff members that worked during the blizzard as well as other stories from the massive storm.
“How can you forget the one Halloween in your life that came with two feet of snow? KFAI’s Britt Aamodt was studying biology at Gustavus Adolphus College when a record snowstorm blasted its way into her life. She wasn’t alone in experiencing the legendary Halloween Blizzard of 1991, a storm that closed schools, shuttered stores and workplaces and left an indelible memory on those that experienced it. (Photo byPeter Boulay)”
My Memories of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard - As A Cow...
I was 9 that year and dressed up as a cow. It was an incredible storm and vividly remember snow piling up on my snout as I trudged from house to house in search for goodies.
25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard
Mark Seely has a good write up in a "Weather Talk" about the 1991 Halloween Blizzard.
For many Minnesota citizens the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 (Oct 31 to Nov 3) remains one of the most dramatic weather events of their lifetime. One of the largest, most intense, and longest lasting blizzards to ever hit the state, this storm paralyzed many sections of eastern Minnesota where roads and highways were closed, and also left over 100,000 customers without power due to power lines brought down by ice, which was up to 2 inches thick in some parts of southeastern Minnesota.
-Over 200 new daily snowfall records were set across the state during this storm, including four communities that reported over 20 inches in a 24-hr period.
-The 4-day blizzard left many areas of the state with record levels of snow depth for November, ranging from 25 to 35 inches.
-At the height of the blizzard snow accumulation was occurring at the rate of 3 inches/hour, with maximum wind gusts to 50 mph.
-At least 16 communities reported a storm total snowfall of 25 inches or greater, topped by 36.9 inches at Duluth.
-In the aftermath of the storm over 100 communities reported sub zero F low temperatures over the first few days of November.
-With such a snowy start to November, many places reported record snowfall for the month, including 46.9" at MSP, 50.1" at Duluth, 51.5" at Two Harbors, and 58.6" at Bruno
Record Snowfall For the 1991 Halloween Blizzard
Here's another great writeup from The Minnesota State Climate Office about the storm, here's an excerpt:
"The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 still stands as a benchmark blizzard in Minnesota that other storms are compared to 25 years later."
"October Blizzards in Minnesota are rare, but they have happened in the past. The most severe early blizzard on record for Minnesota was the devastating October 16, 1880 storm. This storm left behind drifts of snow to 20 feet high in the Canby area and brought train traffic to a standstill over western Minnesota until the spring thaw. This winter is vividly portrayed in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Book: The Long Winter."
"The Halloween Blizzard in 1991 is one of those weather events that people can recall what they were doing as it unfolded. Folks were still celebrating the Minnesota Twins second World Series win in just four years when a cold front ushered in unseasonably cold air. The high temperature in the Twin Cities was 65 degrees on the 29th, over ten degrees above normal. On October 30th, the high temperature in the Twin Cities only reached 32 degrees. By this time a low pressure area was developing around Galveston Texas. From the seasoned veterans at the National Weather Service to students studying meteorology at St. Cloud State, there was no secret that a large storm was coming. Most forecasts for October 31st for central Minnesota called for a cold rain by the afternoon. Possibly heavy. The primary question at the time was: "How much rain would fall?""
"As Halloween dawned back in 1991, some wintry weather was anticipated but no one was expecting a blizzard. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch at 4:00 am on the 31st with a potential of a foot of snow. The first inkling that the forecast under projected snowfall totals came when precipitation started falling as snow at about 11:30am in the Twin Cities, much earlier than anticipated. With the realization that the precipitation would be snow, not rain, a Winter Storm Warning was issued during the day by the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities and forecasters realized there was a potential for a lot of snow. As the afternoon faded into evening a surreal scene unfolded with kids attempting to trick or treat wearing coats and boots and pumpkins becoming covered with a snowy blanket. 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."
What is a typical Halloween like in the Twin Cities? Here are a few stats in case you're interested.
"Halloween is typically a time of crunchy leaves on the ground, and a bit of chill in the air. High temperatures in the Twin Cities are generally in the 40's and 50's. It is more common for the daily high on Halloween to be in the 60's than in the 30's. 70's tend to be a bit rare, with only eight Halloween high temperatures being 70 degrees or above. The warmest Halloween on record was 83 degrees in 1950, with the second coldest maximum temperature on record arriving one year later with a high of 30 in 1951. The coldest Halloween maximum temperature was a chilly 26 degrees back in 1873. The last fifteen years have had some balmy Halloween afternoons with a 71 degrees in 2000, and some quite cool ones as well with a 34 in 2002. There hasn't been a Halloween washout since 1997. Measurable precipitation has occurred on Halloween only 26% of the time in the Twin Cities, or 38 times out of 144 years. The most rain recorded was in 1979 with .78 inches. In 1991 .85 inches of precipitation fell, which was snow. In spite of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard, measurable snow on Halloween is about as rare as getting a full sized candy bar in your trick or treat bag. Since 1872 there's been enough snow to measure only six times: .6 in 1884, .2 in 1885, 1.4 in 1932, .4 in 1954, .5 in 1995 and of course 8.2 inches with the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Thus there has been measurable snow on only 4% of the days."
Hey, it's Halloween next Wednesday and thanks to @Climatologist49 on Twitter for the image below, which shows the historical probability of a white Halloween.
White Halloweens in Minneapolis
Here's a look at snowfall data on Halloween for Minneapolis and since 1899 (119 years of data), there has only been snow reported on 20 days and only 6 days with measureable snow (0.1" or more). Of course, who could forget the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. A record 8.2" of snow fell on Halloween day itself, but the storm dumped a total of 28.4" at the MSP Airport - UNREAL!
The extended models are still suggesting chances of a rain/snow mix by the weekend as another quick moving clipper rolls through the state. It's hard to say exactly where and what type of precipitation will fall this far out, but the lastest trends suggests more rain than snow. However, this weather could have impacts on outdoor activities this weekend, especially for folks heading to the woods for the MN Deer Hunting Opener this weekend.
2018 MN Deer Hunting Opener - Saturday, November 3rd
The MN Deer Hunting Opener is quickly approaching and folks heading to the woods next weekend will be keeping a close on the weather. Early forecasts suggest chilly temps with a slight chance of light rain/snow Friday into Saturday. Interestingly last year, folks in northern MN tallied upwards of 6" of snow on the Opener!!
"Minnesota's Firearm Deer Hunting Opener Weather - "Minnesota's 2018 Firearm Deer Hunting Opener is Saturday, November 3. The normal high temperature for November 3 ranges from the upper 30s across northern Minnesota to the upper 40s near the Iowa border. The average low temperature is in the 20s to low 30's. The historical probability of receiving measurable precipitation on November 3 is approximately 25%. Early November precipitation often falls as snow in the north, while rain is more likely in the south. An enduring, winter-long snow cover is typically not established until later in November, even in northern Minnesota. There has been significant snowfall on the Firearm Deer Hunting Opener in recent memory. 6.0 inches of snow fell at International Falls on the Deer Hunting Opener in 2017. .3 inches was reported at St. Cloud, but there was a snow cover of 4 inches. The 2017 Firearm Deer Hunting Opener was cold and wintry with 30's to low 40's statewide."
Temperatures in the metro have been running nearly -3.5F below average this October and will be close to average for the last day of the month Wednesday. Temperatures look to take a slight dip later this week, which could help set the stage for a little rain/snow mix across parts of the state this weekend. However, the extended forecast as we approach the 2nd weekend of November suggests highs only in the 30s - BRR!!
"Why you should mulch leaves, not rake them"
"It’s the annual fall dilemma. The leaves that have fallen on the lawn need to be removed, but there are more on the trees. Should you rake them up now or wait until the limbs are bare? Neither! Bag the rake, not the leaves. Instead of raking leaves, stuffing them into lawn bags and hauling the bags to the curb, mow them with a mulching mower — a lawnmower with a specially designed high deck and a mulching blade that chops leaves into fragments as tiny as confetti. As the shredded leaves decompose, they will act as a natural fertilizer and weed control agent. For those who insist on a spotless lawn year-round and might be concerned about what the neighbors will think of the brown leaf bits the mower leaves behind, don’t worry. The shredded leaves will filter through the grass and disappear from sight. In northern lawns that go dormant or in grasses such as Bermuda or zoysia that turn a dormant brown color in winter, the shredded leaves may even blend right in. Better yet, if you continue this practice each fall, in a few years mulching can help you have a luscious spring and summer lawn free of dandelions and crabgrass that will be the envy of people up and down the street."
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Today is the 27th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard. Don't laugh, but I was a cow that year - MOO! Oh, the memories... Snow piled up on my snout as I slipped from one house to the next. Few trick or treaters meant a candy bag full to the brim! Pretty sure I'm still nursing a cavity from that unforgettable Halloween, sorry Dr. Colbert.
No blizzards, not even a flake this year. Our Witch Watch has been upgraded to a Werewolf Warning for the potential of spooks through midnight.
A nightmarish severe threat develops across the Lower Mississippi Valley later today, while 2 to 5 inches of rain washes out the Ohio Valley through Friday. Weather conditions close to home remain rather sublime tomorrow, but a few light showers slide overnight and linger early Friday as a chilly wind develops.
Deer hunters hoping to catch a glimpse of that illusive 30-point buck, may want to pack something waterproof this weekend. Weather models are trending warmer and wetter with diminishing snow chances; Stay tuned.
WEDNESDAY: No tricks this year. Dry Halloween. Winds: WNW 5-10. High: 52.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Patchy AM frost. Winds: W 5. Low: 34.
THURSDAY: Clouds thicken. Rain overnight. Winds: SSE 5-10. High: 53.
FRIDAY: Few AM showers. Lingering PM clouds. Winds: NNE 5-10. Wake-up: 37. High: 46.
SATURDAY: Breezy. rain develops with a mix up north? Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 35. High: 47.
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy with light rain. Mix lingers up north. Winds: WSW 10-15. Wake-up: 40. High: 48.
MONDAY: Risk of a light shower. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 41. High: 47.
TUESDAY: Cooler PM breeze. Winds: NNW 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 44.
This Day in Weather History
1991: The Great Halloween Blizzard begins. Trick or Treating was memorable for the few who ventured out. 8.2 inches of snow fell at MSP airport by midnight, with much more to come the following day.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 51F (Record: 83F set in 1950)
Average Low: 34F (Record: 15F set in 1878)
Record Rainfall: 0.85" set in 1991
Record Snowfall: 8.2" set in 1991
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 12 minutes
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~2 minutes & 48 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 21st): 5 hours and 19 Minutes
Moon Phase for October 31st at Midnight
0.6 Days After Last Quarter
What's in the Night Sky?
According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:
"The moon sweeps to perigee – its closest point to Earth in its orbit – for the second time this month on October 31, 2018. Yet, at a distance of 230,034 miles or 370,204 km, this particular perigee counts as the most distant of this year’s 14 perigees. That’s in contrast to the year’s closest perigee of 221,559 miles or 356,565 km on January 1, 2018. Lunar perigee and apogee calculator The moon swings to perigee and reaches its last quarter phase on October 31, 2018. It’s no accident that the year’s farthest perigee (close moon) happens in close vicinity of the quarter moon (in this case the last quarter moon). Last quarter moon: 2018 October 31 at 16:40 UTC Lunar perigee: 2018 October 31 at 20:05 UTC It’s also no accident that the year’s closest perigee closely aligned with the full moon. Lunar perigee: 2018 January 1 at 21:54 UTC Full Moon: 2018 January 2 at 2:24 UTC Like everything else in nature, the moon’s orbit is always in flux. Its shape, and its orientation relative to the Earth and sun, change all the time. The complexities of the lunar orbit all combine to bring about today’s most distant lunar perigee of the year at 20:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. CDT; translate to your time zone). If you’re game, we’ll share a secret with you. We’ll tell you why a quarter moon at perigee is farther than the mean perigee of 225,804 miles or 363,396 km, and why a quarter moon at apogee is closer than the mean apogee distance of 251,969 miles or 405,504 km. We’ll also explain why a full moon or new moon at perigee is closer than the mean perigee, yet why a full moon or new moon at apogee is farther than the mean apogee. It all has to do with the varying eccentricity of the moon’s orbit. The moon’s eccentric orbit The moon’s orbit around Earth, like the Earth’s orbit around the sun, is not a perfect circle. It’s a slightly oblong ellipse. That’s why, every month, the moon reaches a nearest point to Earth at perigee and a farthest point at apogee. However, the moon’s orbit is not highly eccentric (oblong), but nearly circular, as shown on the illustration below."
1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Mid-Atlantic, the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central and Southern Appalachians, the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, the Northeast, and the Great Lakes, Thu, Nov 1.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Fri, Nov 2.
3.) Heavy rain across portions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Great Basin, Thu-Sun, Nov 1-4.
4.) Heavy snow across portions of the Tetons, Thu-Mon, Nov 1-5.
5.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley and the Southern Plains.
6.) High winds across coastal portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Thu, Nov 1.
7.) High winds across portions of the Alaska Panhandle, Thu-Sun, Nov 1-4.
8.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of the southern Alaska Panhandle, Sat, Nov 3.
9.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for the Gulf Coast and up the East Coast, Tue-Thu, Nov 6-8.
10.) Severe Drought across the Rockies, the Northeast, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains, the Northern Great Basin, California, the Alaska Panhandle, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest.
Typhoon Yutu Starts To Push Away From The Philippines
Praedictix Briefing: Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
- Typhoon Yutu made landfall in the northern Philippines early morning local time and has already moved into the South China Sea.
- Heavy rain and gusty winds will continue into across parts of the Philippines in association with this system. Yutu will continue to move through the South China Sea this week, eventually weakening by the weekend as it moves toward China and Taiwan.
Latest On Yutu. Typhoon Yutu made landfall in Dinapigue in the province of Isabela in the northern Philippines earlymorning local time as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. As of late local time, the center of Yutu has already moved into the South China Sea. Yutu currently has sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving to the west at 17 mph.
Yutu Path. Heavy rain and gusty winds will continue across parts of the northern Philippines intoas Yutu pushes further into the South China Sea. While the storm is expected to restrengthen some over the next couple days, quick weakening is expected toward the weekend as it approaches China and Taiwan. At the moment, the center of Yutu looks to pass east of Hong Kong.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
Hurricane Oscar in the Atlantic
Oscar became the 16th named storm and the 8th hurricane Atlantic Hurricane season over the weekend. The good news is that this storm will remain a "Fish Storm" and stay over the open waters of the central and north-central Atlantic over the coming days. However, Oscar will continue to add to the Accumulated Cyclone Energy this season, which is already running at the most active on record for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific combined.
Here's a look at the official NHC track for Oscar, which shows the storm now starting to drift northeast into the northcentral Atlantic as we head through the rest of the week.
Here's the temperature outlook as we head through the next few days. Note that we will initially start off on a warmer note across much of the southern and Eastern US, but a large blob of much cooler than average temps will settle in across the Central and Eastern US and we head through the week ahead. Meanwhile, warmer than average temps look to settle in across the Western US later this week!
According to NOAA's CPC, November 6th - 12th will be warmer than average across the East Coast and the West Coast, while folks in the Southern US will be near normal during the first full week of November.
Weather Outlook Ahead
Weather conditions across the country will be fairly active as we head through the rest of the week thanks to a trough of low pressure moving across the Southern US during the middle part of the weeks. Areas of heavy rain from the Arklatex to the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast could cause flood concerns in a few locations, especially in the Ohio Valley where some 2" to 5"+ tallies maybe possible. Wednesday and Thursday could feature severe storms from Eastern Texas to the Mid-Atlantic as the storm moves east. Areas of heavy snow will be possible along the spine of the Rockies as well. Another Pacific moisture will develop in the Pacific Northwest where several inches of precipitation will fall, mainly in the higher elevations.
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests heavy rains moving into parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley as we head into the week ahead. Some locations could see several inches of rain through the end of next week. There will also be areas of heavy precipitation across the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Olympics and northern Cascades, some of which could be in the form of snow.
Thanks to areas of rain across parts of the southern and southwestern US during the month of September and October, there have been some much needed improvements in drought there. However, there is still a big chunk of extreme and exceptional drought that is lingering across the Four Corners Region, so hopefully we'll get in on some good moisture there over the coming weeks and months!
"What the admittedly confusing categorization actually means. We read the phrase “100-year flood” a lot in the news. It’s our attempt to describe the magnitude of a flood by putting it in context: “This crazy event is such a statistical anomaly, it only happens once every century!” Truth is, that’s an abuse of statistics. The term doesn’t actually mean that a severe flood will occur only once every 100 years, and using it this way fails to reflect flood risk faced by certain areas. First, some background. Scientists have spent decades painstakingly studying every waterway in the United States to determine how vulnerable the surrounding land is to flooding when heavy rain falls. Some areas are extremely susceptible to flooding, such as Cairo, Illinois, which sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Many other areas, however, would only see flooding in a catastrophic rainfall event, and maybe not even then. Much of the way we think about flooding these days is shaped by flood insurance policies. As many homeowners know, flooding is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. Insurance companies decided in the 1950s and 1960s that it was simply too costly to cover flood damages as part of their regular policies. Congress passed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 as an affordable way for homeowners to purchase separate flood insurance policies if they happened to deem them necessary."
"The 4 Best Dog Jackets For Winter"
"In your search for the best dog jackets for winter, the first thing you'll need to keep in mind is the size of your dog. This may sound intuitive, but there's nothing worse than ordering an accessory for your pup only to find out it doesn't fit properly. Most jackets come with size requirements based on the back length and chest measurements of your dog, in addition to their weight. Depending on the climate, you'll also want to consider what materials your pup needs. While dog jackets are constructed in many different designs, the warmest ones for cold weather will be made with a durable outer material like polyester to protect against the elements and stuffed with polyfill or lined with fleece for added warmth. In my search, I repeatedly came across one jacket highly-praised by dog professionals and owners: the Weatherbeeta Parka 1200D. Thanks to its waterproof exterior, warm interior fleece materials, and adjustable straps, this dog jacket is a steal at under $50. However, for those looking for a velcro-free, budget-friendly, or an especially luxe dog jacket, you may want to consider the other options on the list as well. Read on for a detailed look at some of the best dog jackets for winter you can buy to keep your pup warm and cozy all season long."
"Here’s Why a 50-Degree Day Feels Colder in Fall Than in Spring"
"That first cold spell of the season always feels especially harsh. If you’ve ever wondered, from beneath several layers of clothing, whether you were overreacting to those frigid early fall days, take solace. It may not just be in your head: The human body takes time to acclimate to the cold. “We kind of get a global response over time over the winter so that a 50-degree day in, say, February, feels glorious, whereas at this time of year it feels chilly,” said John Castellani, a physiologist who specializes in cold weather research at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Massachusetts. Some experts argue that the shift in perception is mostly psychological, but others, including Dr. Castellani, say there’s more to it: The evidence suggests that the body grows to tolerate the cold over time. Here’s a brief look at what we do and don’t know about how the body responds to the cold in, say, autumn, compared to the spring."
"Flightradar24 Data Regarding Lion Air Flight JT610"
"Lion Air flight JT610 departed Jakarta for Pangkal Pinang at 06:20 local time (23:20 UTC) on 29 October and lost contact shortly after departure. Flightradar24 received the last ADS-B message from the aircraft at 23:31:56 UTC at an altitude of 425 feet AMSL. The flight was operated by Boeing 737 MAX 8 registration PK-LQP. The aircraft was delivered to Lion Air on 13 August 2018, just over two months ago and entered service with the airline on 18 August. It is powered by two CFM LEAP-1B engines."
"U.S. desert areas to become even more arid"
"Geologists from the University of Innsbruck study rainfall patterns in the distant past to better understand how deserts in the southwest United States will be impacted by future climate change. Beneath the Amargosa desert of the southwest United States lies a hidden gem for climate research. The Devils Hole cave system, named after its bottomless depths, provides a window into the vast desert aquifer below. The cave system is home to a peculiar type of calcite deposit. As groundwater slowly passes through the cave, calcite precipitates layer by layer on the rock walls. "These thin layers have been accumulating on the walls for nearly 1 million years," explains Kathleen Wendt from the Quaternary Research Group in the Department of Geology at the University of Innsbruck. "The height of ancient deposits in Devils Hole cave tell us how high the water table was in the past." Together with her colleagues, the geologist has conducted research in the cave for several years. In the current study, the Innsbruck team used special drilling equipment to collect calcite deposits from several points above and below the current water table. The ages of the deposits were then determined using the thorium-uranium method. The results have now been published in Science Advances. "This study reveals how the height of the water table has changed over the last 350,000 years. We were surprised to discover repeated swings as high as 10 meters above today's levels," explains Wendt."
Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX