“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.”
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.”
“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.”
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 Tuesday morning local time and has already moved into the South China Sea.
- Heavy rain and gusty winds will continue into Wednesday 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 early Tuesdaymorning local time as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. As of late Tuesday 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 into Wednesday as 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.