Cooper causes some chaosA major storm swept through the Red River Valley on Sunday as Blizzard Cooper dropped heavy snow and blew in high winds that closed interstates, cancelled events and left some travelers far from home.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
A major storm swept through the Red River Valley on Sunday as Blizzard Cooper dropped heavy snow and blew in high winds that closed interstates, cancelled events and left some travelers far from home.
The Herald is naming the storm after media personality Anderson Cooper, who befriended local columnist Marilyn Hagerty after she went viral in 2012.
The Grand Forks area remains in a winter storm warning until this morning, while the southern Red River Valley remains in a blizzard warning.
Snowfall from Cooper varied throughout the region — between 2 to 6 inches was forecast for Grand Forks, while Fargo, Jamestown and southeastern North Dakota had the most snowfall, with about a foot reported in Fargo and 14 inches at Colfax, N.D., the National Weather Service said Sunday. Snow totals increased as the storm moved east; some parts of the Minnesota lakes area were expected to get as much as 16 inches.
But snow wasn’t Cooper’s only problem; high winds caused widespread white-out conditions and forced officials to close Interstate 29 from the North Dakota border to Grand Forks and close Interstate 94 from Jamestown east to Alexandria, Minn.
Snow and wind gusts approaching 35 mph stranded the UND hockey team and many fans returning from the games in Omaha on Friday and Saturday. The UND hockey team took shelter in Sisseton, S.D., and a bus full of fans stayed at the Summit, S.D., community center, where area residents made them welcome and even cooked for them.
Grand Forks and East Grand Forks school officials delayed today’s start time by two hours, as did many other communities in the area, including Crookston and Fosston in Minnesota and Emerado and Larimore in North Dakota. Most high schools and colleges, including North Dakota State, in the Fargo-Moorhead area, will be closed today.
More than 500 weather-related announcements were listed on the Herald’s website as of Sunday evening.
A no-travel advisory remains in effect for the southeast region of the state, including the cities of Fargo, Lisbon, Valley City and Wahpeton and surrounding areas. A travel alert remains in effect for Jamestown and areas west of Valley City and surrounding areas. The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a no-travel advisory for much of northwest Minnesota for Sunday night into today.
The Grand Forks area had about four inches of snow by Sunday afternoon and the storm was expected to sweep through Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin by today and Tuesday. A colder air mass was expected to move southward behind the departing system, the weather service said, resulting in lower temperatures today with afternoon highs peaking in the mid to upper teens. Northwest winds should diminish after sunset tonight.
The weather is not expected to see any great improvement in the upcoming days.
“It looks kind of up and down,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Kellenbenz said Sunday.
Tuesday will be dry and warmer with some peeks of sun and afternoon highs in the 20s. Another clipper system will drop south from Canada on Wednesday bringing a chance for light snow and wind.
Cold temperatures should move into the region behind the system with below normal temperatures and dry weather through the weekend.