On this day WAY back in 1991, a low-pressure system carried precipitation from the Gulf of Mexico straight up the midsection of the country, where it collided with a massive, cold high pressure system from the north.
Three days later, upwards of 30-40 inches of snow had blanketed a large swath of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Dubbed the Halloween Blizzard (10 inches of snow fell that night), it was a watershed weather event that paralyzed cities and certainly caused a lot of hardship for some, yet gave snowmobilers the greatest candy of any Halloween ever.
Friends and I snowmobiled all over the Twin Cities (on major roads, highways and even freeways) for two days until the plows finally got on top of the situation. I know of people who did laps around the Metrodome in Minneapolis. It was incredible.
One of the many amazing elements of that storm was the fact that it wasn’t predicted. I remember driving home in the rain from my job as Editor at Snow Week and Snow Goer magazines. The talking heads on the radio warned that temperatures were going to drop and that there might be some slush late that evening. But nobody was talking about a city-crippling dump of 30 inches.
Of course nobody was ready for it, myself included. My roommate and I had no new snowmobiles ready to ride those first few days, only vintage sleds. No matter. We rode vintage sleds all over the southern, first-tier suburbs of the Twin Cities (where snowmobiling was not legal). We actually saw one police officer who waved at us, as if he were saying “Hello, have fun.”
The whole period brought the child out in every adult who liked snow. It was incredible and I’ll never forget it.