This month is officially the snowiest October in Brainerd history

As of Sunday, 10.3 inches of snow had fallen this month in Brainerd.

A snowman with a Halloween flair stands out in a yard Saturday, Oct. 24, in northeast Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

It’s official: this October will go down as the snowiest on record in Brainerd.

The National Weather Service in Duluth on Saturday reported Brainerd received 10.1 inches of snow for far this month, eclipsing the previous record of 7 inches of snowfall in 1951. The dusting of snow Brainerd received Sunday will bring that total to about 10.3 inches, the weather service reported.

“Anytime you can break a record, it’s pretty unusual,” said Dean Melde, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. “And to beat it by over 3 inches is impressive.”

Brainerd also set an October record with 7 inches of snow depth.

Rounding out the top 10 snowiest Octobers in Brainerd are:


  • 6 inches in 1919,

  • 5 inches in 1942,

  • 4 inches in 1926,

  • 3.5 inches in 1992 and 1932,

  • 3 inches in 2017, 1987 and 1972.

RELATED: October surprise - Snow fell across much of the state as winter arrives early

While many will harken back to the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, in which Brainerd received 11 inches and other parts of the state had more than 2 feet of snow, Melde noted while that storm started Halloween night, the bulk of its snow fell the next two days, Nov. 1-2.

Though there are six days left in October this year, it doesn’t appear the new snow record will grow.

“We are going into a bit of a warming trend and it will be relatively quieter weather to close out the month,” Melde said.

The National Weather Service’s forecast for the rest of the week calls for high temperatures of 26 degrees Monday, 29 degrees Tuesday, 39 degrees Wednesday, 37 degrees Thursday, 39 degrees Friday and 42 degrees Saturday for Halloween. There is no precipitation forecast this week.

In fact, with relatively milder temperatures — or at least temperatures above freezing — Brainerd stands to shed some inches from its current 4 inch snow depth.

“All those temperatures can put a dent in it,” Melde said. “Will it all go away? It’s hard to say.”


The weather this month, like most everything else in 2020, has been anything but typical, Melde noted. Usually in October weather systems include rain with a little bit of snow mixed in, not all snow. It’s usually much warmer this time of year, too, with an average temperature in the low 50s at this time in October. Last week, Brainerd was within a few degrees of setting daily records for low temperatures.

“If you are going to be cold, it’s going to be snowy, you might as well break a record. It might as well be worth it,” Melde said.

Matt Erickson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 2000 as a reporter, covering crime and courts and the city of Brainerd. In 2012 he was promoted to night editor and in 2014 was promoted to editor of the newspaper.
What To Read Next
Get Local