High winds, blowing snow make for dangerous driving conditions this weekend
Roads were closed Friday afternoon into Saturday morning
GRAND FORKS — It’s mid-March, but there is still some winter weather left — and some very dangerous driving conditions, too.
High winds and blowing snow Friday caused a number of road closures throughout North Dakota, including the state's major interstates and several highways. The closures remained in effect until Saturday morning.
Bright and sunny in town Friday, it was an entirely different story in rural areas. At approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, Grand Forks County Sheriff Andy Schneider made a video along a stretch of road in rural Grand Forks County, warning motorists that driving conditions were dangerous.
“No travel advised in Grand Forks County and this is why,” Schneider said in the video, taken near a car that had slid off the road. “We have cars in the ditch all over the place."
Schneider said visibility was reduced to “about nothing” in some areas. He also said the county had, at that point, seen more than 100 vehicles in ditches in the previous four days.
“Do not use your cruise control – stay home,” he said.
Wind gusts surged past 40 mph, whipping light snow across roads. Temperatures Friday afternoon were in the single digits, with chills reaching down to nearly minus-20.
The National Weather Service says temperatures on Sunday will likely be in the mid- to upper-20s in North Dakota, and the mid-20s to lower-30s in Minnesota. Winds will likely be betwen 10-15 mph.
Temperatures were about 20 degrees below average, according to the weather service.
"Not quite the warm up as we were wanting," the weather service described.