It has been windy the past couple of days, with some gusts up to 45 mph in the area. Now the Weather Channel and NOAA, along with meteorologists are saying that with El Nino in place, our winter for 2015-16 will be calmer. It was compared to 1982-83 and 1997-98 winters.

We could still see cold snaps, but they won't last as long and they'll be less frequent. The snowfall will be reduced, too.

So, with the calmer winter being predicted, all we can do is talk about the storms of the past. The MNDNR website has storms dating back to November 1835. Some lasted for days. Humans, livestock and wildlife died in some of the storms. Roads were closed and people were stranded. The term blizzard was actually not used until 1876.

  • It started out as a calm day on Nov. 11,1940. Then the rain came, turning to snow. The next day, 20-foot drifts were reported in Wilmar, and about 20 inches of snow. Duck hunters were trapped and nearly 50 people died.
  • In February 1984, southern Minnesota was hit with white-out conditions and 80 mph winds causing severe windchills. People were stranded in their vehicles and fish houses; 16 died.
  • The ever-famous Halloween Storm in 1991 first called for rain. That quickly changed to snow and winds with "nasty" windchills. The Twin Cities received 27 inches of snow. In southern Minnesota, surfaces were covered by 1 to 3 inches of ice. It was a record-breaking storm.
  • Remember a couple of years ago in May 2013? The area received 14-18 inches of snow. That storm also went into Iowa and Wisconsin.