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Halloween Storm Minneapolis 1991

Halloween Storm Survivors: Where were You in Minnesota?

My Husband Mark Digs out a Car in 1991


Hearing the news about the 12 inches of snow in Colorado this week, and now the Halloween storm out east with over 20 inches of snow in some parts of the east coast, made me think of our large snow event in Minneapolis in 1991.  We were involved in a weird series of snow events that winter, that dumped over 28 inches of snow on us on Halloween, and made life generally a challenge for the next 6 months.

Halloween Storm in 1991 Was the Perfect Storm

We woke up on Halloween in 1991 to reports of rain that day, late, and a high of 60 degrees.  It was a really nice day, with temperatures reaching up into the middle 60s, with a brisk wind developing.  I was busy finishing my senior thesis that day, and worked steady inside until around 2pm, when I broke to take care of some of the leaves in the yard. There was alot of leaves that were falling, and I managed to get them all off the grass in an hour, and into the side section of our back yard, but not bagged.

Our Dog Keesha Before the Halloween Storm


We then went back inside, Keesha and I, and worked on getting ready for Halloween, and get the pumpkins ready for the trick or treaters.    I went back to work on my thesis, and kept working until the door bell rang, and kids were coming to visit for candy.  We noticed the temperatures had dropped quickly, and the kids were having trouble with the rain.  It was coming down pretty fast, and everything was quickly freezing.

The sidewalks and paths were really slippery, and local weather stations were starting to get giddy with the news of the storm coming our way.  We managed to welcome some very ambitious and happy trick or treaters, and then closed up the house with around 10pm, when we noticed big snow flakes coming down, and how slick the roads were getting by the cars bumping up on the sides of the road.

I went back to my thesis, and stayed up until 4am, working away, not looking outside, but focused on finishing my presentation for the next day.  I went to bed, and was woken by a phone call at 5am.  My coworker at the University of Minnesota was calling, and that was very unusual.  She was just letting me know that the University of Minnesota was closed, and it was due to the Halloween Storm.  I was confused, tired, but excitedly got up, and woke my husband, and we were shocked.

Our fall landscape was now a winter wonderland!  Welcome to the Halloween Storm!

Here is some information on this particular storm, which inspired the book and movie, The Perfect Storm, and sunk the legendary Andrea Gail, as it was occurring at the same time as our halloween storm.  The fact that the noreaster was there, at the same time as our storm, kept it spinning over minnesota, and created a record breaker we all will never forget.

Thanks to Paul Douglas on the Star Tribune for this really nice piece of data on the storm:

Thanks to Chad Merrill at Earth Networks for passing on the snowfall records. Remarkable.

* Click here for a great recap of the Halloween Superstorm from the Minnesota State Climate Office.




The Halloween Storm was Now Almost Over

We now had to deal with clean-up, and in Minnesota, if you do not clean up your snow, it will become a large frozen block of ice and will not be moved until the spring.  It was now November 1st, and on All Saints Day, we spent the day clearing snow.  The ice underneath the snow, was at least an inch thick.  It was a bumpy, irregular frozen river, underneath the snow.  The roads in Minneapolis and St. Paul were a wash board of bumpy and stuck ice, and they did not improve the entire winter.  The winter was here now, and we did have another large snow event on Thanksgiving weekend of this year, and it was really, a very long winter.


Covered Car in Minneapolis 1991


Our Home In Minneapolis Halloween 1991


Our Snowy Back Yard in 1991


The Halloween Storm was a storm we will never forget, and I know today, that there are people on the east coast dealing with their own version of this large wet snow storm, which will begin the winter for them, earlier than they would like.  Please share with our your experience if you lived in Minneapolis, St. Paul or Minnesota in 1991, as we ask: What is your Halloween Storm Memory?