It was 80 years ago this week that mild November weather led to the death of 49 people in Minnesota is what has been since called the Armistice Day blizzard. On November 11, 1940, 4 inches of snow fell in the Faribault area according to historical data, but in areas, up towards Collegeville they received 27" of snow, and parts of the storm left drifts of snow 20 feet high.

The day that the blizzard came through temps were in the 40s and 50s in Minnesota, leading to folks venturing out in lighter clothing than what would be required in a blizzard. Of course, in 1940, weather prediction was not what it is today with computers analyzing tons of data by the second, rather it was more of an analysis of what has happened in the wake of high and low weather fronts.

The National Weather Service on the morning of November 11th called for "colder temperatures and a few flurries". During the late morning and early afternoon, the weather service describes a massive low-pressure front moving through the area bringing with it cold temperatures that dropped the temperature in Faribault from 41 to 12 degrees in a matter of hours. 

Image Credit: NOAA
Image Credit: NOAA

8 inches fell in Faribault during the 24-36 hours the storm raged across the state. Faribault was relatively lucky as compared to other places in Minnesota. Willmar had the reported 20-foot drifts, Collegeville near St. Cloud had 27" of snow, and those stuck outdoors during the storm, many died due to exposure to the elements. stated that "The blizzard claimed a total of 154 lives, and killed thousands of cattle in Iowa. Whole towns were isolated by huge snowdrifts."

I'm not saying that after the warm weather that we had we are due for another giant snowstorm/blizzard-like what happened in 1940, but it is rather eerie that 80 years later in a year like the one we have had in 2020, we are getting snow and freezing temps almost 12-24 hours after we sat well above freezing. Get the full story on the Armistice Day blizzard here. 

Right now the weather service is predicting anywhere between 1-3 or 3-5" of fresh snow tomorrow and temps in the 30s and 40s for the rest of the week.

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