One of the most severe early winter cold snaps in Northern Plains history happened back in 1886. The region was pounded by a severe blizzard bringing one to two feet of snow and severe winds from Nov. 22 through Nov. 24. On the morning of Nov. 25, the temperature reached -22 degrees in Fargo. Another blizzard on Nov. 29 and 30 brought more light snow and severe drifting, and then came the first of the crazy cold weather.
From Dec. 1 through Dec. 3, the temperature got no warmer than -12 degrees during the day in Fargo-Moorhead. Morning low temperatures were in the -30s. The coldest morning was -35 degrees on Dec. 4, which remains the coldest temperature recorded in Fargo-Moorhead so early in the winter. A month later, another cold snap produced the all-time record low temperature in Fargo-Moorhead of 48 degrees below zero.