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Weather History Archive

Weather History - March 2

Local and Regional Events:

March 2, 1966:

The blizzard began late on March 2 in the west and moved very slowly across the state, reaching the extreme east on the 4th and continuing into the 5th. Snow depths ranged from 2 to 4 inches in southeast South Dakota to nearly 3 feet in north-central South Dakota. Winds of 40 to 55 mph with gusts to 70 mph caused widespread blowing snow and near-zero visibilities during the storm. Drifts up to 30 feet were reported in sheltered areas with bare open fields. The storm caused massive livestock losses. Estimated losses were 50,000 cattle, 46,000 sheep, and 1800 hogs. The most substantial losses were in the central and north-central parts of the state. The heavy snow also collapsed many structures. The storm directly caused three deaths due to exposure, and three were indirectly caused by the storm; 2 due to heart attacks and one by asphyxiation. The blizzard was rated as one of the most severe that has been experienced in South Dakota. Many roads were blocked for days, and many schools and businesses closed.

March 2, 1966 SD Blizzard

March 2, 1966 SD Blizzard 2

March 2, 2007:

An area of low pressure moved slowly northeast across the central and northern plains, bringing widespread snowfall and intense winds. The combination of the falling snow and the existing snow cover resulted in blizzard conditions with visibilities to zero at times. This blizzard event was part of the same upper-level low-pressure trough that brought the heavy snowfall to the area on February 28. Additional snowfall occurred across the region on March 1st and 2nd as a large area of snow wrapped in from the east. Widespread blizzard conditions developed by noon on March 2 and continued into the early morning hours of the 3rd. Snowfall amounts, including the snow on February 28, ranged from 2 inches to 22 inches across central and northeast South Dakota. The heaviest snowfall amounts were across northeastern South Dakota, where total snow depths were in the 25 to 30-inch range. Northwest winds of 30 to 45 mph with gusts near 60 mph brought zero visibilities across the area, creating large snowdrifts. Schools, businesses, airports, roads, and interstates were closed for up to two days. Travel was not advised across the area. Also, many cars were ditched, along with several accidents. Many travelers were stranded, and several shelters were opened. The Emergency Operations Center was activated in Pierre, and the Governor declared the blizzard area a disaster. Some of the most significant snowfall amounts over the 3 days included 11 inches at Andover, Hosmer, and Redfield, 12 inches at Webster, 13 inches at Miller, 14 inches at Victor, Groton, and Clark, 15 inches at Castlewood and Summit, 16 inches at Watertown and Roy Lake, 19 inches at Sisseton, 20 inches at Milbank, 21 inches at Bryant, and 22 inches at Clear Lake.


U.S.A and Global Events for March 2:

1927: Raleigh, North Carolina, was buried under 17.8 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for that location until 2000. On January 25, 2000, Raleigh saw 17.9 inches of snow in 24 hours.

March 1-3, 1927 NC Snow

The snowfall map above is from Eric Webb.

March 2, 1927 NC Snow 2


1988: Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the south-central U.S. A tornado in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, injured two persons, and another tornado caused five million dollars in damage at the airport in Lafayette, Louisiana.

March 2, 1988 Lafayette Tornado

The image above from Storm Data is a barograph trace from the airport in Lafayette, Louisiana. It shows a rapid pressure drop of 0.24 inches as the tornado passed the airport. The tornado, F1 in intensity, traveled only 0.8 miles but caused an estimated $5 million in damages.


2005: Waterspouts were recorded in Redondo Beach in southern California. Pea size hail accumulated to a depth of one inch on Huntington Beach.

March 2, 2005 Southern Cal


2012: The March 2 and 3, 2012, a deadly tornado outbreak occurred over a large section of the Southern United States into the Ohio Valley region. The storms resulted in 41 tornado-related fatalities, 22 of which occurred in Kentucky. Tornado-related deaths also occurred in Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio. The outbreak was the second deadliest in early March for the U.S. since official records began in 1950. Only the 1966 Candlestick Park tornado had a higher death toll for a tornadic system in early March. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Louisville, Kentucky.

March 2, 2012 Tornado Outbreak 2

March 2, 2012 Tornado Outbreak


Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.