Snowy and slick roads this morning with an increasing wind
WDAY's StormTRACKER meteorologists are watching the storm; check back for updates.
FARGO — Wednesday, March 22, 7:30 a.m.: Snow has exited the region, leaving behind five to six inches in the Fargo Moorhead metro and two to three inches in Grand Forks. There was also a short period of freezing drizzle overnight on top of the new snow. Roads are snowy and slippery this morning. The wind is picking up out of the northwest around 15 to 25 mph, which will cause some ground blowing and drifting snow on the roads. Overall, conditions will improve as the day goes on.
Tuesday, March 21, 11:13 p.m.: The snow has mostly ended now in the Fargo area and snow will soon taper off over most of the region. A few snow reports from southeast North Dakota indicate generally around 4-6" most areas. A few isolated 7-8" amounts seem likely. Further north and east where it is still snowing, there have not been many reports, yet. We will provide a complete snow total report on Wednesday.
Expect slick roads in the morning. Most secondary roads will not have been plowed. However, travel conditions are likely to be much better by afternoon.
Tuesday, March 21, 8:13 p.m.: Snow with waves of very heavy snow will continue into the middle of the night with snow ending southwest to northeast. Snow reports from 7 to 7:30 p.m. include 4" at Cayuga, 3" in Forman, and 2" in Fargo with snow still falling at those locations at the time of measurement.
Tuesday, March 21, 5:53 p.m.: The first wave of heavy snow arrived in Fargo Moorhead shortly after 5 p.m. and we can expect heavy snow to come in waves over the next few hours.
Tuesday, March 21, 10:00 a.m.: Clear skies allowed for a chilly morning this morning, but the sunshine won't be lasting too much longer. By the early afternoon, there will be many more clouds blocking out the sunshine ahead of our winter storm.
The storm is still in South Dakota and doesn't look too bad on radar, but it is still in the development stage and it will continue to develop as it moves closer to us tonight. The forecast still remains on track at this time.
Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 a.m.: A Winter Storm Warning (pink counties) and a Winter Weather Advisory (purple counties) were issued early this morning. Fargo is in the Winter Storm Warning, Grand Forks is in the Winter Weather Advisory. Both go into effect at 4:00pm today and last until 7:00am Wednesday.
The snow is on the way! It's currently snowing out in southwestern North Dakota near places like Bowman and Mott. The snow will continue on a northeasterly track, intensifying as it does so.
It will start snowing in southeastern North Dakota this afternoon, move into the Fargo Moorhead metro after 4pm, Grand Forks after 5pm, and into northern Minnesota this evening. Snow will fall all night long for most of us. Bands of heavy snow are expected to set up tonight with one to possibly two inch-per-hour snowfall rates. That can give us a lot of snow in a short amount of time. The places under the Winter Storm Warning are the most likely to see those heavy bands, and therefore, the highest snowfall totals.
Snow will be out of the area by early Wednesday morning. Tomorrow's wind will be out of the northwest sustained around 15 to 25 mph with an occasional gust or two up near 30 mph. Some blowing and ground drifting is expected tomorrow, especially in open areas.
Monday, March 20, 10:35 p.m.: The storm is starting to get its act together with a few bands of light snow already spreading across northwestern South Dakota. Although this system's details are not locked in, yet, it does look like we will be likely be dealing with a narrow band of heavy snow Tuesday evening where up to 6" of snow may accumulate. So I have updated the snow forecast map. Tune in again tomorrow as additional adjustments are likely with such a small but relatively intense system.
Monday, March 20, 6:30 p.m.: Snow is again expected to spread across the region from southwest to northeast all day and into the evening Tuesday. This is a relatively small storm, but it may pack some intensity, with a few hours of rather heavy snowfall Tuesday evening into the middle of the night Tuesday night.
These narrow but intense storm systems present this problem for weather forecasters: The snow accumulations will greatly depend on how long it snows in each location, and this is something that is hard to predict precisely.
Here is an early look at the forecast snow amounts. Keep in mind this is likely to change.
Here is the approximate timeline. Times will vary by a few hours at different locations across the region.
The National Weather Service will likely update the Winter Storm Watch to either a Winter Storm Warning or a Winter Weather Advisory, and this will hinge on the overnight weather models and the potential for more than 6 inches of snow, which is the usual criteria for a Warning as opposed to an Advisory.