Winter storm hits region hard Monday
Snow totals around ten inches in area
The region was hit hard Monday as a winter storm moved through parts of North Dakota and Minnesota.
According to Daryl Ritchison, meteorologist at WDAY in Fargo, the storm started as a disturbance in the Pacific Ocean.
When it arrived in North Dakota, the storm moved very slowly. Ritchison said as of 3 a.m. Monday, the center of the storm was just over Bismarck. Hours later, at about 1 p.m., the storm had only moved 40 miles.
“It was a very slow-moving storm,” he said. “It snowed slightly throughout much of the day, but it was a steady snow.”
Ritchison said the storm, because of its slow movement, wasn’t considered a clipper, which is a faster moving storm.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation, by 3:30 Monday afternoon, had issued a no travel advisory for areas along and north of U.S. Highway 2 due to blowing and drifting snow, which caused areas of zero visibility.
Schools in Walsh County dismissed their students early Monday, and many of them were delaying classes one or more hours on Tuesday morning, allowing for the cleanup from the storm to begin.
Local businesses, along with other offices, were also left cleaning up after the storm. The Walsh County Courthouse was closed early Monday and didn’t reopen until noon on Tuesday.
By 6 a.m. Tuesday, the no travel advisory was lifted in northeastern North Dakota, but a travel alert was still in place. A travel alert means motorists can still travel but may encounter areas of challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways.
Tuesday morning, the Walsh County Sheriff’s Office was still advising no travel on secondary roads throughout the county.
According to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Grand Forks, the snow started late Sunday night, between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight.
According to Ritchison, areas around the northeastern part of North Dakota measured in the double-digit range.
Locally, measurements were in the 11-15 inch range, with Gilby measuring the highest, at 15 inches.
Grafton and Pembina each had a measurement of 11 inches.
Ritchison said the snow was ending primarily for this event by mid-morning Tuesday.
He cautioned that another disturbance headed towards North Dakota could be coming on Thursday.
“The core of the snow from that storm will be in Canada,” Ritchison said. “We won’t have much here.”
According to the NWS forecast, there is a 30 percent chance of snow Thursday and a 20 percent chance of snow Thursday night.
In the long range forecast, Ritchison said another snow event is in the forecast for the weekend, but that event right now isn’t headed towards northeast North Dakota.
“That snowstorm is looking like it’s going to track further south,” he said.
After the weekend, Monday is the next chance for snow.
Temperatures are to remain in the mid-20’s to lower-30’s throughout the rest of the week and into early next week.