On This Date In Twin Cities History - November 11, 1940
On this date in 1940, the deadly Armistice Day blizzard hits the Midwest. With little warning, temperatures dropped from near 60 degrees early in the day to single digits in less than 24 hours. More than 16 inches of snow fell in Minneapolis, and over two feet were reported in other parts of Minnesota. Collegeville received 26.6 inches, and 20-foot drifts were reported near Willmar.
Many took advantage of the mild holiday weather and made plans to spend the day outdoors. Early rain turned to snow, accompanied by strong winds and then the temperatures plummeted. In the end, 49 people died in the Armistice Day blizzard in Minnesota, many of them duck hunters trapped in remote bottom land along the Mississippi River when the blizzard hit.
As a result of the storm and poor forecasting by the Chicago office of the National Weather Service (NWS), the director of the NWS at the time, responded by transferring forecast jurisdiction for Minnesota’s weather to the Minnesota office. Since the spring of 1941, weather forecasts for Minnesota have been managed locally.