Friday Find: Snowy photos of blizzards from years past

Black and white photo of a woman in a miniskirt and winter coat walking through the snow and holding her hat on her head.

Miniskirts were in style then, but not the best for a snowy, windy night.16 inches of snow slows the frenetic pace of Manhattan. February 10, 1969. (Image credit: NOAA)

The snowy season is upon us, so we’re sharing a few historic photos from our archives of some amazing snowfalls. Make sure to check out the third one and help us solve a mystery!

Black and white photo of North Dakota DOT employee, Bill Koch, standing next to the top of a utility pole in North Dakota during a blizzard. March 9, 1966.
North Dakota DOT employee, Bill Koch, stands next to the top of a utility pole in North Dakota during a blizzard. March 9, 1966. (Image credit: Collection of Dr. Herbert Kroehl, NGDC)

This photo was taken shortly after the historic blizzard of March 2-5, 1966. One of the most severe blizzards ever to hit the Northern Plains, it dropped 38 inches of snowfall in some areas, with wind gusts exceeding 70 miles per hour. Here, Bill Koch, an employee of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, stands atop a drift that is piled up to the crossbars on a utility pole.

Black and white photo of a person bending into the wind during a blizzard in Rochester, Minnesota. March 24, 1966.
A person bends into the wind during a blizzard in Rochester, Minnesota. March 24, 1966. (Image credit: NOAA)

More snow came to the Midwest on March 22-24, 1966. In the southeastern part of South Dakota, winds up to 50 mph caused blowing snow, reducing visibility to near zero. The plains of South Dakota saw 7 to 8 inches of snowfall with up to 2 feet in the Black Hills. Minnesota was also affected by this blizzard. This photo shows a person walking down a Rochester, Minnesota sidewalk, which is barely discernible through the covering of snow.

Black and white photo of a line of cars buried in snow with the U.S. Capitol building in the background.
A line of cars sits buried in snow with the U.S. Capitol building in the background. (Image credit: NOAA)

The NOAA Heritage team found this photo of a very snowy Washington, DC in our archives, but there’s no information about the year or the snowstorm. Do any car enthusiasts recognize the make, model, and year of these cars? If so, please email us at heritage.program@noaa.gov!

Curious about the chance of snow in your area this season? Check out the January-March 2024 temperature and precipitation outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Have an idea for an artifact, photo, or document from NOAA’s history that you think we should feature in “Friday Finds!”? Send an email with a description and, if possible, a photo to heritage.program@noaa.gov.