No practice snowfall to acclimate us to the shift in weather and wardrobe this season. In a mere two weeks’ time, sandals were replaced with snow boots, as Oct. 27 featured high temperatures in the upper 60s and on Monday sidewalks became shrouded in fall snow, demanding more than one ruler to measure in many locations.

The distance between a brief shovel and a serious snow blow was just 20 miles this time around. Minneapolis received 3 inches of snowfall whereas 10 inches fell in Anoka. The highest snow totals amassed in a swath across central Minnesota into western Wisconsin—16.5 inches accumulated in Cambridge, with 15 inches in Rush City, and 15.5 inches reported in Spooner, Wisconsin.

St. Cloud recorded 13.2 inches of snow on Monday—now the fifth highest calendar day snowfall of all time and the largest snowfall for a November day on record (breaking the previous record set in 1898)! The last time more than 13.2 inches of snow fell on any one day in St. Cloud was nearly 50 years ago in 1965.

St. Cloud experiences 9.1 inches of snow on average for the entire month, yet three of the top 10 snowstorms on record for St. Cloud occurred in November.

November is not one of the Twin Cities’ snowiest months, but the month’s climate history is not uncommonly snowstorm-y. Of the five months which comprise our prime snow season (November—March), November is only the fourth snowiest, with a Twin Cities average of 9.3 inches of snow.

Conversely, of the top six Twin Cities snowstorms on record dating back to the 1800s, three occurred in November. Of them is the all-time biggest metro snowstorm, the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 (Oct. 31 to November 3).

Thus, overall, November is not among the metro’s snowiest months on average, but as the climate data reflects, big, episodic snowstorms in November are not historically uncommon.

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