Quiet for now, shock and awe of Armistice Day blizzard

November can be a scary weather month in Minnesota.

The Halloween megastorm raged into the first hours of November 1991. The Edmund Fitzgerald gales of November howled in 1975. And for people of my parents’ generation, the deadly Armistice Day Blizzard in November 1940 was the storm of a lifetime.

Star Journal

Weather forecasts have come a long way since 1940. But never turn your back on the weather maps in November in Minnesota.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

All quiet for now

This year the weather maps look relatively quiet the next two weeks as we turn the corner toward December. But meteorologists know massive storms can spin up on the maps with little notice this time of year.

Cold front Wednesday

Temperatures climb above average this week for the first time in nearly three weeks. Our next Canadian cold front dives south Wednesday. Temperatures rattle back to below average levels through the end of this week.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

Tuesday night showers

Milder southerly breezes get frisky at times through tomorrow. Drizzle and fog develop by Tuesday night, as showers expand across Wisconsin by Wednesday. A colder northwest flows pushes in behind the low in Minnesota Wednesday. Here’s the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System sequence of events the next 48 hours.

NOAA, via tropical tidbits

Cold turkey?

The early look at the maps for Thanksgiving weekend looks chilly. The upper air maps suggest a cold (but probably dry) northwest flow across the Upper Midwest.


Temperatures in the brisk 30s are likely as Thanksgiving weekend approaches. You may be able to chill the pumpkin pie on the porch this year.

NOAA, via IPS Meteostar

Armistice Day blizzard hit with ferocity

Picture a mild November morning. You leave the house without a jacket. The forecast calls for flurries. By noon temperatures begin to plunge. Drizzle quickly changes to heavy wind-whipped snow. By late afternoon, you’re in a fight for survival.

Abandoned cars in Minneapolis in November 1940 via Twin Cities NWS.

Weather forecasts by the U.S. Weather Bureau were issued out of Chicago in 1940. That changed after the ferocious Armistice Day Blizzard killed 49 people in Minnesota. Here’s a great look at The Armistice Day Blizzard storm from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Galloping Gertie

The intense 1940 low-pressure system hooked toward the Upper Midwest from the Pacific Northwest.


The same storm that would paralyze much of the Upper Midwest caused the Tacoma Narrows bridge to collapse days earlier.

I’m thankful for relatively little weather drama this November.