Blizzard conditions to sweep into Grand Forks area

Near-whiteout conditions are expected in Grand Forks around 4 a.m. Travel expected to be difficult, if not impossible, during this time.

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Blizzard conditions are possible in the region late Tuesday, Dec. 22, and early Wednesday morning, Dec. 23. // Graphic by the National Weather Service - Grand Forks.

The National Weather Service is continuing to monitor a winter storm that could potentially bring blizzard conditions to the region through Wednesday.

A winter storm watch is in effect through Wednesday evening, Dec. 23. As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service had not yet issued a winter storm warning or a blizzard warning, but urged regional residents to continue monitoring the forecast.

The storm is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of snow, winds up to 60 mph, slippery roads, blowing snow and dangerous wind chills as low as minus-35, which can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.

The lowest wind chill temperatures in the region are expected around Thief River Falls, where wind chills of minus-37 are forecast. The Grand Forks area is expected to see low wind chill temperatures of minus-34.

Grand Forks, Thief River Falls and Roseau are expected to receive the highest snowfall amounts in the region, with forecasts estimating those areas will receive about 3 to 4 inches. Higher snow totals are forecast further east near Baudette and Kelliher.


Meanwhile, the highest winds are anticipated around Valley City, with gusts expected to reach speeds of 62 mph. Grand Forks is forecast to see gusts of up to 61 mph, and wind speeds in other parts of the region are forecast to be in the high 40s to mid-50s.

Near-whiteout conditions were expected to blow in from the northwest, impacting the Devils Lake area around midnight, the Grand Forks area around 4 a.m. and the Bemidji area around 7 a.m. Travel will become very difficult, if not impossible, during these times.

The duration of the storm will depend on snowfall amounts around the region, NWS warnings coordination meteorologist Greg Gust said in a storm update Tuesday morning. One inch of snowfall roughly translates to one hour of blizzard conditions.

A wintery mix is expected to precede the storm Tuesday evening.

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