The Big Story Blog

Could we see another Halloween blizzard like '91?

Posted at 12:30 PM on October 31, 2011 by Jon Gordon
Filed under: Climate

What's the likelihood we could see another storm like that of October 31, 1991 anytime soon?

There's a bit of a difference of opinion on that from the meteorologists we trust most.

"No, emphatically no!" said Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota climatologist and meteorologist, on Midday last week.

"That was a one-off storm lasting from October 31st to November 3rd. A long-duration storm, nearly two and a half feet of snow in the Twin Cities area and over three feet of snow in the Duluth area, near zero-visibility at times. A very, very difficult situation, but a one-off. We don't have a historical analogy for that storm, and I don't expect a storm of that caliber would re-occur for a long time. We only have two or three occurrences of October blizzards in our history."

But MPR News meteorologist Paul Huttner feels differently. Huttner this morning told MPR News Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer:

"Yes, it's possible...We've just last winter set two of the top 15 all-time snowstorms for the Twin Cities. So yeah, it can happen. I think it may be a while but it could certainly happen again in the next 20 or 30 years."


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.