Arctic blast, then possible blizzard could hit Red River Valley
The Red River Valley could see a one-two punch, first with an arctic blast then a possible blizzard hitting the area midweek.
A winter storm watch will be in effect Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning for most of east North Dakota and northwest Minnesota as an arctic cold front moves into North Dakota Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. Temperatures are not expected to reach above zero for the foreseeable future, with lows dipping into the negative teens and negative 20s, according to the forecast.
This is the second arctic blast to hit the Valley this year. Residents got a breather as warm temperatures—Monday saw a high of 31 in Grand Forks—moved into the region.
The cold temperatures could be followed by blizzard-like conditions, though the heaviest snow likely will stay in a line trending from the far southeast corner of North Dakota through Detroit Lakes and east of Baudette, Minn. Those areas could see 3 to 6 inches of snow, meteorologists forecast.
Still, there is a slight chance a blizzard could hit Grand Forks, Fargo, Valley City, Thief River Falls, Crookston and Roseau, Minn., according to the weather service. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph with wind chills making it feel like 30 degrees below zero.
"The strong winds will bring blowing snow and near-zero visibility at times with very difficult to impossible travel conditions Wednesday night into the Thursday morning commute," the forecast said.
The storm could begin with freezing rain or sleet but will transition into snow, meteorologists said.
Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Roseau could see 1 to 2 inches. Cities along the Canadian border likely will see less than an inch. Crookston, Thief River Falls and Mayville are forecast to see 2 to 3 inches while Fargo, Baudette and Fosston could get 3 to 4 inches.
The National Weather Service said it is less certain about amounts “as a slight shift in the track of the storm could bring a large change in snow accumulation.”