The Gigantic Halloween Blizzard of ’91
On Halloween of 1991, the Sioux Falls area was hit with over 15 inches of snow and several days of cold. Days before, a strong system began brewing over Texas, and by October 31st, it was more tricks than treats for much of the Midwest.
Minnesota and Iowa took the majority of the ice with this system while Sioux Falls and most of South Dakota got the snow. Overall, according to Wikipedia, between the blizzard and the ice storm, 22 people were killed and over 100 were injured.
Some interesting facts about the storm:
- Kids in Bismarck, North Dakota had to trick-or-treat at -10 below.
- Over 100,000 people without power across the Midwest
- Both I-90 and I-29 were closed
- Most of Iowa's crops were destroyed
- The storm occurred on a Thursday and schools were still closed on the following Monday.
- The storm caused over $63 million in damages
In 2012, Meteorologist Shawn Cable from KSFY-TV did this great recap of the storm. Complete with some awesome video of Sioux Falls in 1991.
The storm was part of a bigger system that dumped snow all over the Upper Midwest. Duluth, Minnesota ended up with over 35 inches of snow!
In fact, this storm was set up, in part, by the weather patterns that caused the "Perfect Storm" that struck the East Coast of the United States, and was famously depicted in Sebastian Junger's book. Moreover, the "Perfect Storm" was beginning to wind down in the Northeast on Halloween, around the same time that Minnesota was starting to see heavy snow creeping in. To have two exceptional storms impacting the continental United States at the same time is quite rare. -NWS Duluth