A look back at the ups and downs of Halloween weather in Mankato

Updated: Oct. 29, 2019 at 2:40 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — October in Minnesota is known for its beautiful fall foliage and whiplash weather conditions. One day temps can be in the low 70′s with plenty of sunshine and the next, 30s with several inches of snow. These quickly changing weather conditions sure can make it difficult when selecting a Halloween costume. No matter what mother nature throws at Minnesotans they still find a way to enjoy the night of trick or treat. Here’s a look at Halloween weather records and averages for Mankato, MN, plus a look at the forecast for Halloween 2019.

Of course, we have to start with the memorable Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Even if you are new to Minnesota there is a good chance you have heard the stories. The historical storm started October 31, 1991, and continued to ravage the area until November 3, 1991. First things started as rain and freezing rain before eventually switching over to snow. Some areas across the state saw thundersnow and periods of snowfall of 2 inches (5.08 cm) an hour. The North Shore was hit the hardest wither 3 feet of snow was recorded in Duluth and Two Harbors. Mankato also saw impressive snowfall totals from the storm. By November 1st, 1991, Mankato had already experienced 14.4 inches of snow. Over the 4 day period, Mankato picked up a whopping 20.8 inches (0.53 meters) of snow.

Snowfall totals across the state of Minnesota from the Halloween Blizzard of 1991.
Snowfall totals across the state of Minnesota from the Halloween Blizzard of 1991.(National Weather Service)

The average high temperature in Mankato on Halloween is 51° F (10° C), the average low is 33° F(0.5° C). Our warmest Halloween on record occurred back in 1968 when the temperature reached 74° F (23° C). The coldest high was a three-way tie of 30° F(-1° C) set back in 1991, 1993 and 1996. The record low for Mankato was 16° F(-9° C) set back in 1996.

Wettest Halloween on record is not hard to guess. The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 dumped 14.4 inches of snow over Mankato by November 1st, the snow water equivalent ended up being 1.77 inches. The rainiest Halloween according to records would-be 1971 where Mankato measured 1.64 inches.

Snow is not the only extream weather that impacts Minnesota in October. October is a month in which all forms of severe weather can still strick. On October 26, 1996, 14 tornadoes trucked across part of the North Start state, injuring 11 people. As for Mankato and the entire state of Minnesota, there has never been a tornado on Halloween. The closest a tornado has come to be on Halloween was back in 2000 when an EF 1 tornado rolled through Kandiyohi county on November 1st.

Tornado damage in Albany, MN associated with the October 26th, 1996 outbreak.
Tornado damage in Albany, MN associated with the October 26th, 1996 outbreak.(NWS Chanhassen)

As for Halloween 2019, Mankato will be dry but chilly. The high is going to be right around 38° F(3° C) under a partly cloudy sky. Temperatures around trick or treat time will be ranging from 36° F(2° C) on the high end to 30° F(-1° C) on the low end. Minnesota’s neighboring states won’t be as lucky. Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois are all expected to see a chance at measurable snow Wednesday night through Thursday (Halloween) evening.

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