Region under winter storm warning as high winds, blowing snow expected Monday night/Tuesday morning
Snow emergency declared in East Grand Forks; UND announces closure Monday night and for a portion of Tuesday morning; no testing at Pollard Center Tuesday.
GRAND FORKS — The expectation of snow and freezing rain has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm warning for the region.
What originally was a winter storm watch was upgraded on Monday, Jan. 31, to a warning for numerous counties in eastern North Dakota, all counties in Minnesota that border North Dakota, as well as Roseau County in northwest Minnesota.
Cities in the warning area include Devils Lake, Langdon, Grafton, Grand Forks, Fargo and Lisbon in North Dakota and Roseau, East Grand Forks, Hallock and Ada in Minnesota.
The warning will continue through 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Also, there is a winter weather advisory for many counties in northwest Minnesota.
East Grand Forks has declared a snow emergency, starting at midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning. The emergency will remain in effect until all streets have been cleared to their full width. The declaration means there is no parking on city streets and vehicles that do park on the streets are susceptible to tickets and towing.
Also, UND is closing at 10 p.m. Monday and will not reopen until 10 a.m. Tuesday. The UND Career Expo will continue as scheduled, starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Alerus Center.
UND's essential personnel should still report to work as scheduled, the university announced Monday.
Grand Forks Public Health will not be conducting COVID tests at the Pollard Center Tuesday, but will continue testing from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The day didn't seem like much of a weather concern, but the storm has been on the radar — literally and proverbially — of weather experts in recent days. On Sunday, the National Weather Service declared a winter storm watch for the region.
Monday, however, it was upgraded to a warning.
"We actually are getting some areas of snow and rain, freezing rain and freezing drizzle, scattered about the area," WDAY meteorologist John Wheeler said during the station's 6 p.m. broadcast. "We may see just enough of this for the roads to get really slick."
Wheeler said winds will be a concern, with gusts possibly reaching 60 mph. That could cause whiteout conditions in some areas.
"Even though we have a little bit of crust on this (existing snow on the ground), there is going to be a tremendous amount of blowing and drifting with that," Wheeler said. "Out in the open, blowing snow is likely to produce whiteouts. Because of the uncertainty with the type of snow that we have, we may not have full blizzard conditions — but then again, we may."
The strong winds will come from the northwest.
Tuesday, the temperature will drop to around 2 by 5 p.m., and wind chills will be around minus-20, according to the NWS. Winds on Tuesday also will be strong throughout the day. Tuesday night, lows temperatures will around minus-16.