Domebuster: 10 years since 17.1" snowfall collapsed Metrodome

The Dombuster storm is the 5th biggest on record for the Twin Cities

Do you remember this one?

It’s been 10 years since the “Domebuster” storm dumped more the 17” of snow in the Twin Cities, and took down the HHH Metrodome roof.

The storm dumped a swath of heavy snow from the Twin Cities area into western Wisconsin. Many locations picked up a foot and a half of snow.

Domebuster snowfall totals
Domebuster snowfall totals
Twin Cities National Weather Service
List of Dombuster snowfall totals
List of top Dombuster snowfall totals
Twin Cities National Weather Service

5th biggest storm on record

The 17.1” dropped by the storm is the 5th biggest snowfall event on record in the Twin Cities.

Top 20 snowfall events for the Twin Cities
Top 20 snowfall events for the Twin Cities
Minnesota DNR Climate Working Group

It’s interesting to note that the 5 biggest snowfall events in the Twin Cities have all occurred since early 1982.

Here’s more on the evolution of the storm from the Minnesota DNR Climate Working Group.

The December 10-11 Blizzard is the 5th largest snowstorm on record for the Twin Cities since 1891.

The largest snowfall for the Twin Cities since the 1991 Halloween Blizzard began late Friday night and continued through the day on Saturday. 17.1 inches of snow fell at the Twin Cities International Airport. Not only is this the largest snowstorm on record for December for the Twin Cities, but this storm is the fifth largest snowfall in a single storm to hit the Twin Cities since 1891. The highest snowfall total found in the state was 23 inches measured at Winona Dam. Three additional inches fell with a lighter snow storm on December 9th at Winona and is not included with the total.

This storm began with a low pressure center that developed along a stationary front over South Dakota and southern Minnesota. By Saturday morning December 11, the low deepened rapidly and moved to northwest Iowa. The low then moved to near Mason City by the evening of the 11th. Heavy snow with visibilities of a quarter mile or less was reported at the Twin Cities Airport for eight hours straight from 9am to 4pm December 11. The International Airport was closed for four hours.

This storm packed quite a punch with wind as well as snowfall. Blizzard warnings were posted on December 11 for all of southern Minnesota, including Carver, Scott and Dakota Counties of the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities International Airport was closed for a time during the storm and numerous holiday events were cancelled, including the Holidazzle Parade. The Metrodome collapsed under the weight of the snow.

For days afterward, cities struggled to remove the snow from streets and sidewalks. School was cancelled for two days for St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Domebuster storm capped off a very snowy fall into early meteorological winter season for Minnesota. The Domebsuter storm brought the seasonal snowfall to 34”.

Domebuster snowfall statistics
Domebuster snowfall statistics
Twin Cities National Weather Service

The Domebsuter remains a top 5 snowfall event for the Twin Cities 10 years later.

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