We Minnesotans are no strangers to wild weather. In the first few months of this year, we’ve already seen record highs, winter rain showers, and blizzard false alarms. While the current weather pattern is certainly not normal, there has been no shortage of unusual weather events in the past. These 11 crazy weather events are some that all Minnesotans will remember.
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1. Lowest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota - 1996
A lot of the most extreme weather records were set in the early 20th century or earlier. But there's one surprisingly recent record set just over 20 years ago, in 1996. That year on Groundhog Day, the northern Minnesota town of Tower set the record for coldest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota. The mercury dipped to a frigid -60F. Even if you weren't among the unlucky few in Tower at the time, you probably remember seeing it on the news.
2. Red River flood in East Grand Forks - 1997
Disaster struck Minnesota's western border in 1997, when the Red River of the North experienced one of its worse floods in history after a winter of abundant snowfall. The entire Red River Valley was affected, including the city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota. There, floodwaters surged over three miles inland. The city was evacuated, and nearly every home suffered damage. The flood caused billions of dollars in damage and remains one of the most memorable weather events in Minnesota history.
3. Halloween blizzard - 1991
It wasn't the largest or most damaging blizzard in Minnesota history, but the October 31, 1991 blizzard is certainly one of the most remembered. As several feet of snow fell across Minnesota, hardy Minnesotans donned their costumes for an evening of trick or treating. The snow continued into the next day, causing school closures and power outages. The Halloween blizzard remains one of the most talked about weather events even today, nearly 20 years later.
4. Highest recorded temperature in the month of April - 1980
This 1980 event may not be quite as memorable as some of the others, but it still has its place in Minnesota's crazy weather history. That year in Hawley, the record for highest temperature in the month of April was set at 101F. That is especially shocking when you realize that just one year before, the record low temperature for April was set in Karlstad.
5. Most rainfall in a 24-hour period - 2007
On August 19, 2007, the record for most rainfall in 24 hours was broken by nearly 5 inches. That day, 15.10 inches of rain fell in Hokah. It was part of a major flooding event that impacted several areas of the midwest. In Minnesota, the rainfall caused over $170 million in damages, including washed out roads caused by landslides.
6. Most snowfall from a single storm - 1994
Northern Minnesota is used to getting hit with heavy snowfall, but no storm compares to the 1994 storm that dropped 47 inches in Lake County. The event set the record for most snow dropped by one storm. Over 20 years later, people who experienced it still talk about the massive snowstorm.
7. Biggest tornado outbreak in Minnesota history - 2010
The devastating June 2010 tornado outbreak was the biggest ever recorded in Minnesota, and one of the largest in the United States. On June 17, 48 tornadoes touched down across Minnesota, causing downed trees, demolished houses, and millions of dollars in property damage. In addition, three people lost their life and many others suffered injuries. Being such a recent event, it is not likely anyone will forget the devastating outbreak any time soon.
8. Second consecutive brown Christmas - 2015
Remember Christmas 2014 and 2015? If you were in Minnesota, you may remember having a brown Christmas. According to
, Minnesota has experienced a brown Christmas in 34 years between 1899 and 2015. Given the relative rarity of no snow on Christmas day, it's a little surprising that Minnesota experienced two years in a row with no flakes.
9. Twin Cities superstorm - 1987
If you were in the Twin Cities in 1987, you may remember the day that it rained for eight hours straight. During that time, some parts of the Twin Cities received up to 7 inches of rain. The storm caused significant flooding in some areas, with $30 million in property damage. A tornado also touched down during the same storm, causing significant damage in Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park.
10. Metrodome roof collapse - 2010
Here's one that many outside of Minnesota will remember, even if they aren't Vikings fans. After a major snowstorm on December 10-11, 2010, the Metrodome roof gave in to the weight. The Vikings ended the season on a poor note, the new roof cost $18 million, and the Metrodome was torn down a few years later.
11. Earliest tornado ever - 2017
Minnesota's most recent crazy weather event happened on March 6, 2017. As thunderstorms hit the Twin Cities, storms got even more severe a little further north. A tornado touched down near Zimmerman and Princeton, leaving some significant damage in its path. Trees were downed, buildings collapsed, and a new weather record was born.
Do you remember these events? Have any other weather-related memories? Let us know in the comments!