How much snow do we really get in November?

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Snowfall in November can vary wildly as totals just since 2012 range from about a half an inch to almost 10 inches.  But obviously nothing is close to the snowiest November back in the Halloween Blizzard year of 1991.

When we think of November, most think of fall colors, Thanksgiving and hoodie weather. Rarely do we think about snow, frigid cold and shoveling.  

But, that’s what we’ve had to endure though over the last couple of weeks. While many haven’t received a lot of snow, there has definitely been enough snow and cold to make many of us question whether we’re closing in on Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, how much snow are we really “supposed” to get in November?

Well, unlike many of the other snow season months, our November can vary wildly from year to year. So much so in fact, that our snow totals to round out the month have ranged anywhere from a trace in a few different years, to nearly 4 feet in 1991. It’s that Halloween Blizzard year that racked up our snowiest month on record. But the 80s and 90s were notoriously snowy decades for the month of November. 5 of the top 10 snowiest Novembers dating back to the 1880s were actually in those 20 years. Because of this, our current 30-year climate average is heavily skewed.

From 1981 to 2010, MSP Airport averaged a little over 9 inches of snow in November. But if you look at our 21st century, the average November snowfall is much lower at just over 4 inches. This is a far more recent and relevant trend as our falls have gotten less snowy over the last couple of decades, but our springs have gotten snowier.

But even looking at each November over the last decade or so, totals vary from really warm and dry months, like last year to cold and snowy months, like 2014. So how much snow do we really receive in November? To take current trends into account, on average, it’s less than 4 inches. So far this year, we’re right on target with officially just 1.7 inches at MSP Airport.