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Winds to pick up, possibly bringing near-blizzard conditions to region

Northeast North Dakota, northwest Minnesota in winter weather advisory

National weather service Jan 18 2022.JPG
A graphic showing potential conditions near Grand Forks on Jan. 18, 2022.
National Weather Service

GRAND FORKS — Winds are expected to pick up throughout Tuesday, creating near-blizzard conditions for some portions of the region.

A release from the National Weather Service, distributed to the media at 7 a.m. Tuesday, said "blowing and drifting snow impacts are expected along and west of the (Red River Valley) by late Tuesday morning." Gusts could surpass 50 mph.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of the region, starting at 9 a.m. for Devils Lake and 11 a.m. for Grand Forks and the Red River Valley.

Also included in the NWS release were these bullet points:

  • Most areas in the Grand Forks region will experience at least open-country, near-blizzard conditions.
  • There is a 30% chance of widespread blizzard conditions.
  • Impacts to travel are expected in the valley and points westward.
  • And a swath of heavier snow — 2 to 5 inches — near Lake of the Woods is expected.

As a result of deteriorating weather conditions, UND announced it would be closing its campus in Grand Forks at 2 p.m. The university says it will reopen for normal operations on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Essential personnel should report to work as scheduled, the university said.
During a broadcast early Tuesday, WDAY meteorologist Jared Piepenburg said conditions will decay throughout the day.

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"We're going to be tracking some blowing and drifting occurring later on today," he said just before 7 a.m. "Open countryside areas, it's going to make it very difficult to travel and it could even become dangerous for some, and that's going to be mainly in eastern North Dakota."

He said it will become "bitterly cold" in the coming days — as low as minus-11 Wednesday and minus-28 Thursday. WDAY predicts a chance of light snow on Friday.

Related Topics: WEATHER
What To Read Next
Such a forecast would be nearly impossible because wind over land is much more turbulent than wind over water.
WDAY's StormTRACKER meteorologists are tracking the storm. Check back for updates.
Winds gust beyond 40 mph throughout the region. Although the storm was downgraded overnight from a blizzard to a winter advisory, Herald names the storm Blizzard Caitlin.
Some people believe that wind chill is just hype and that only the temperature and wind speed should be reported.