This day in 1899 was the fourth of eleven consecutive days of continuous subzero weather in Fargo-Moorhead, tied with 1996 as the second longest stretch of subzero weather on record. (The longest was 37 days in 1936.) In 1899, the heart of the arctic air was headed south, where it set many low temperature records which remain today. The temperature dropped to -22 degrees in Kansas City, -10 in Dallas, and -2 in Tallahassee, Fla.
The cold was so extreme that the Mississippi River froze over as far south as New Orleans and ice floes were reported flowing out the mouth of the Mississippi. A blizzard formed on the Gulf Coast and dropped one to two feet of snow from Galveston to New Orleans to Mobile, covering everything with deep drifts which remained for days. It is hard to imagine what hardships were incurred along the Gulf Coast to people who could not possibly have known how to deal with such conditions.