Snow began in southern North Dakota during the morning of March 2 and spread northward into March 3. At Fargo, the visibility remained one-quarter mile or less for over 30 consecutive hours from March 3-5, coinciding with strong northerly winds frequently gusting over 40 or 50 mph.
Unlike many of the “killer blizzards,” which had previously occurred in the Northern Plains [Schoolhouse Blizzard, 11-12 Jan 1888; Armistice Day Blizzard, November 11, 1940; and Ides of March Blizzard, 14-15 Mar 1941], temperatures were relatively mild during much of this blizzard. At Fargo, temperatures held steady in the 20s during the start of the blizzard, falling into the teens during the height of the blizzard, when winds were strongest and visibility lowest. By the time the blizzard was winding down, temperatures had dropped into the single digits.
At Grand Forks, 27.8 inches of snow was measured, with the heaviest snow falling on March 4, when 17.0 inches fell. For Grand Forks, the 17.0 inches on March 4 set a record for most snowfall during one calendar day, while the 27.8 inches for the blizzard as a whole remains the most substantial event total snowfall on record in Grand Forks.
Finally, by later on March 5, the low-pressure system began to move away, with winds subsiding and colder subzero temperatures climbing into the region. Below is the surface weather map valid at noon on March 4, 1966. The Blizzard in North Dakota was over.