Winter winds bring near-blizzard, warning prompts East Grand Forks school cancellations
Wintery weather extended into the first week of March as the National Weather Service in Grand Forks issued a blizzard warning for the region until Wednesday night and a winter weather advisory into earlyThursday.
The weather service’s forecasts included wind speeds between 30 and 35 mph beginning Wednesday afternoon with gusts up to 45 mph. Conditions were expected to be worst in open rural areas where blowing snow could create low visibility.
About an inch of snow was forecast to come in with the storm, with the potential of 4 inches falling near the Canadian border and producing near-zero visibility.
“It’s just basically ground blizzard conditions out in the open,” said meteorologist Brad Hopkins with the weather service.
The blizzard warning included Grand Forks, Walsh, Pembina and Cavalier counties in North Dakota and Polk, Marshall and Kittson counties in Minnesota.
Public Schools and Sacred Heart Catholic school in East Grand Forks canceled class early Wednesday because of the anticipated storm, as did the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo school district.
The winter weather advisory was issued for the northern valley until 6 a.m. today, bringing a mix of sleet and freezing rain.
Temperatures are forecast to edge above freezing today, followed by a weak cold front that could bring Friday’s low to 10 below zero. Warmer weather is coming during the weekend, with a high of 39 forecastSunday.
“We’ll get some relief here going into next week,” Hopkins said.