As Minnesota prepares for major storm, Greater Grand Forks likely to see little snow, but frigid temps

According to WDAY, high temperatures will be minus-5 on Wednesday, minus-8 on Thursday and minus-3 on Friday. Low temperatures those days will dip to minus-16, minus-12 and minus-25, respectively.

022123 I29 pileup3.jpg
Emergency personnel work to clear a multi-truck pileup just north of the Thompson exit on Interstate 29 on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — As severe weather moves out of the region, extremely cold temperatures are moving in.

Monday, snow and high winds created hazardous conditions throughout the northern Red River Valley, prompting a number of crashes. Next, a snowstorm that began Tuesday is expected to bring heavy snow to South Dakota and central Minnesota. Up to 20 inches of snow could fall on the Twin Cities before the storm moves out of the region Thursday.

In the Greater Grand Forks region, however, the coming days likely will bring just a bit of snow and a few typically frigid February days.

According to WDAY, high temperatures will be minus-5 on Wednesday, minus-8 on Thursday and minus-3 on Friday. Low temperatures those days will dip to minus-16, minus-12 and minus-25, respectively. Importantly, those are the expected actual temperatures, before accounting for wind chill.

“Just a big blob of cold air will be sitting right on top of us on Friday,” WDAY meteorologist Jared Piepenburg said during a Tuesday morning broadcast. “We’re going to have some very, very dangerously cold wind chills out there.”


High temperatures on Saturday and Sunday will rise into the single digits above zero and return to the mid-20s by next week, according to Piepenburg’s forecast.

The National Weather Service is predicting some snow in the northern Red River Valley on Wednesday and Thursday, but nothing like the snowfall that is expected in central Minnesota. According to a graphic distributed to the media, there is a zero percent chance of Greater Grand Forks getting 8 inches or more.

It’s already been a difficult week for weather. On Monday, snow and breezy conditions caused a number of crashes in the Greater Grand Forks area, including on Interstate 29, where at least 21 vehicles were involved in mishaps.

One crash in the region resulted in a fatality. On Highway 81, approximately 5 miles south of Thompson, a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and a 2012 Kenworth semi truck collided, resulting in the death of a woman from Little Falls, Minnesota.

NDHP Sgt. Christopher Schaefer told the Herald on Monday that there were no severe injuries reported from the 21 vehicles involved in the I-29 crashes. He noted one or two other vehicles may have been involved as well.

“Visibility was extremely poor and deteriorated very quickly as the snow continued falling,” Schaefer said. “It almost seemed isolated to that area and that stretch of road. … You didn’t really see much else happening around the Red River Valley at that time – it was just that stretch of road.”

In the coming days, Grand Forks likely will receive only a bit of snow. It’ll be much worse in South Dakota and central Minnesota.

In Minneapolis, for instance, snow began falling Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service expected it to become heavy snowfall, with upwards of 3 to 7 inches. It likely will continue into Wednesday, with up to 3 inches during the day and another 7 to 11 in the evening. Up to 7 more inches might fall on the Twin Cities Thursday, according to the NWS.


According to John Wheeler, chief meteorologist for WDAY, it will be a “major winter storm.”

“The forecast for heavy snow Wednesday and Thursday (in South Dakota and central Minnesota) is based on the potential for ideal snow growth conditions in the clouds and a long duration of steady snow," Wheeler wrote in a forecast for Forum Communications Co. "Most of North Dakota and northern Minnesota is expected to miss the heaviest snow, but travel will still likely be severely impacted.”

The Herald's Sydney Mook contributed to this report.

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

Over time, he has been a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

In the past, Wenzel was sports editor for 14 years at The Daily Republic of Mitchell, S.D., before becoming editor and, eventually, publisher.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103.
What To Read Next
Get Local