Past Minn. storm comparisons

Jaime B in the comments asked: “… How is this storm different from the previous big storm we had earlier this year?

The storm we had earlier this month, once all was said and done, dropped about 10 to 13 inches in Rochester and about 8 inches in the Twin Cities, according to the National Weather Service.

Current projections are saying that this storm could bring anywhere from 12 to 18+ inches in the Twin Cities. Without being too hyperbolic I would say that this storm may be a bit more severe, but nothing Minnesotans can’t handle.

In comparison, here are the top 11 All-Time Snowfalls for the Twin Cities (1891-2006):

  1. 28.4 inches: October 31 – November 3, 1991 (Halloween Blizzard)
  2. 21.1 inches: November 29 – December 1, 1985
  3. 20.0 inches: January 22 – January 23, 1982
  4. 17.4 inches: January 20 – January 21, 1982
  5. 16.8 inches: November 11 – November 12, 1940 (Armistice Day)
  6. 16.7 inches: March 3 – March 4, 1985
  7. 16.7 inches: March 11 – March 14, 1940
  8. 16.5 inches: December 27 – December 28, 1982
  9. 16.0 inches: January 20 – January 21, 1917
  10. 16.0 inches: March 8 – March 9, 1999
  11. 14.7 inches: March 31, 1985

So how does this storm compare? Well it looks poised to break some records.

Two questions to the weather-watching crowd:

What are you doing to prepare for the storm?


What advice would you give to those that might be experiencing their first Minnesota winter storm?

  • Mark Hetland

    1.) Buy all the groceries you need – now

    2.) Park your car in the garage

    3.) Stay home and enjoy the snow fall 🙂

  • Andy

    1) Make sure the snowblower is operating.

    2) If shoveling, take it easy.

    3)Assist your elderly neighbors with snow removal.

  • Interesting that the heavy snowfall days seem to be fairly evenly distributed. I would have suspected that they would be more front and rear-loaded, since it seems that the higher temperatures would lead to greater precipitation.

    I think it would be really interesting to see a graph of total snowfall, by day, over the last 100 years or so, to see if it’s a normal distribution, m-shaped, or something else entirely.

    As for preparations, it looks like I’ll be heading down to Rochester a day early and heading out a day late. Otherwise, nothing special.

  • I should clarify that what I mean by “m-shaped” is a bimodal distribution. Carry on with the great weather reporting! 🙂

  • I should clarify that what I mean by “m-shaped” is a bimodal distribution. Carry on with the great weather reporting!


  • Michael B.


    1. renting some skis

    2. stocking up on groceries and beer

    3. parking the car and hiding the keys



  • Eric Vogel

    Making arrangement for our daughter, traveling home from China, to stay someplace else. Actually making it home to Willmar is unlikely.

    If this is your first snow storm, take time today to stock up on everything you’ll need to ride the storm out–food, movies, baking supplies, books, etc… Enjoy the storm from home.

  • Catherine

    If you have to drive:

    1. Drive slowly.

    2. Watch for pedestrians.

    3. Take turns slowly.

    4. If you start to fish tail, don’t panic and over correct, you’ll end up in the ditch!

  • Megan

    In preparation we’re picking up a couple extra groceries, going out to a movie, and picking up those last-minute Christmas gifts a day early.

    As only my 4th winter in Minnesota I have just a little advise:

    1) Stock up on food and toiletries.

    2) Bundle up for a couple minutes and step outside to marvel at how the world transforms around you.

    3) Don’t go out except for #2

    4) Pull out the books and board games and take advantage of the excuse to do nothing but lounge around at home.

  • Jenny N

    To prepare, we’re buying our first snowblower tonight!

    Advice to the newbies:

    -Don’t wait until the snow stops to start shoveling. You’d rather shovel 3 times than try to remove 14″ of snow at once.

    -If you own a snowblower, why not try some of that MN nice and walk it over to your neighbor who doesn’t have one?

    -The roads never seem that bad… until you’re in the ditch.

    -Keep flashlights handy, as these big storms can knock out power lines, and getting repairs over holidays can take some time.

    -If you can’t beat it, at least have fun with it! Go sledding, make an angel, or have a snowball fight.

  • Sarah

    Please, please, please…drive carefully around the snow plows and keep your distance!! Have patience! You’ll never get there if you’re…well, DEAD!! What fun is that?? For anybody??

    Be safe and smart everyone!

    Stay put and look how pretty it is out the window. Take a nap. Make homemade Christmas ornaments. Find a way to learn something new about your family and friends. Play games. Read a good book. Get together with your neighbors and share a meal.

    I work at a church, and everyone is all uptight that church might be cancelled because of the storm. Well, guess what? It comes around every year, so there will be other opportunities. Oh, and by the way, there are worship services EVERY Sunday (by golly!) so try coming more than once or twice a year. In the meantime, if it’s cancelled, it’s cancelled. It’s not the end of the world. You can pray and worship at home, you know. I’ve heard they used to do that–“back in the day.” Go figure! Ha!

    Have a good one!

  • Craig Sanders

    1. Use your head. There seems to be an urge to go out and drive in the snow and watch it happen. In reality you end up being more of a hazard to others.

    2. Wear layered clothing and take a scarf or other mask for your mouth. Working or playing hard in the cold air will hurt you if you’re breathing hard in the very cold air. Go out for short times, and then come in and warm up.

    3. Charge the cell phone early in case of a power failure.

    4. Read the poem “Snowbound” by John Greenleaf Whittier. You’ll feel like a part of that beautiful poem. Another good one is “The Snow-Storm” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.