MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Snow in October has winter lovers wanting more and others wondering if this means we’re in for a tough winter.
Minneapolis set a record 26 years ago during the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Snow began falling hours before trick-or-treaters hit the streets for treats. Twenty-eight inches blanketed the city, shutting down schools and businesses.
When the snow began to fall last Thursday night into Friday, many winter lovers began wondering if the flurries are a sign that winter will be one for the record books.
“I had a lot of people panicking with the snow obviously, like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be one old fashioned Minnesota winter.’ I looked to the last time we had more than a trace of snow in October, that was in 2009. We only ended up with 40.7 inches for the entire winter. That’s 15 inches below average, so it doesn’t mean we are going to get thumped this year,” said Chris Shaffer.
WCCO-TV Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer says research says if its a dusting of snow or several inches of snow in October, it has no bearing on what happens during the winter months in Minnesota.
“Every single time we get an early snow like this in October, something different happens the rest of way. There is no consistent pattern, like an early snow means a lot of snow for the winter or an early snow means you don’t get much more the rest of the way. It’s always different,” Shaffer said.
To prove his point, Shaffer says even the biggest October snow falls in recent memory didn’t predict a tough winter.
“I even looked back to the ultimate early snow, Halloween blizzard 1991 that carried into November. We had about 55 inches of snow through November, which is what we typically get for the entire year and then it just kind of fizzled out after that. I think we picked up an additional 29, so it was above average but we came out of the gate strong and then it just kind of tapered off the rest of the way,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer says there is no consistent pattern when it comes to cold weather in October leading to a cold winter.
He says when temps drop below average in October, some winters end up being very mild where there are some that are indeed cold.