Snow is heading for parts of North Dakota. Can Grand Forks escape again?
Snow is coming, but it's uncertain where it will hit. If it stays to the south, the immediate Grand Forks area could escape heavy snowfall for the third time in recent weeks.
GRAND FORKS — Bands of heavy snow are expected in parts of central and eastern North Dakota in the coming days, but just where that snow will hit is still a question.
According to a packet sent to the media by the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, snow is "likely Sunday into Monday, especially along and south of the Highway 200 corridor."
Highway 200 runs east-west through North Dakota. In the eastern part of the state, it connects communities like Carrington, Cooperstown, Finley and Mayville. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for those towns and others, including Valley City, Fargo and Wahpeton. But the watch area ends just south of Grand Forks, at Traill County.
With a little luck, the immediate Grand Forks region could escape heavy snowfall from a passing storm for the third time in two weeks.
A storm buried parts of eastern North Dakota on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving 13 inches of snow in Fargo. On Feb. 23, a storm dumped heavy snow in central Minnesota.
A National Weather Service map that outlines snow potential shows that Grand Forks has a zero percent chance to see 8 inches or more of snow, but it does have a 19% chance of 4 inches or more. Farther south — New Rockford, Finley, Fargo and Valley City — the chance is around 50% for 4 inches or more.
In the packet sent to the media, the NWS noted that "gusty north to northeast winds may cause areas of blowing and drifting snow, especially along and west of the Red River Valley."
But the storm is coming with uncertainty, according to the National Weather Service and WDAY.
"The latest runs of the models this evening is revealing a lack of consensus as to where the snow will be heaviest and precisely when it will begin," John Wheeler, chief meteorologist for WDAY, wrote on Forum Communications Co. websites Friday evening. "This is not surprising because the storm is relatively small in size and is presently still out over the North Pacific."
Sunday's high temperature in Grand Forks will be around 30, with winds gusting toward 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service. On Monday, highs likely will be around 20.