Forum and wire reports, Published January 12 2009
Blizzard conditions, dangerous wind chills expected todaySecond Alberta clipper on way
Blizzard conditions were expected to move into the Devils Lake Basin and into the southern Red River Valley late Sunday night and into this morning.
According to the National Weather Service, the Alberta clipper was expected to bring snow accumulation varying from 2 to 5 inches, winds that will gust to more than 35 miles per hour and dangerous wind chills.
Areas farther north are expected to receive less snow and wind, although stormy conditions are still possible.
Snow and wind will gradually diminish by this afternoon. However, a second Alberta clipper is expected to blast through the area Tuesday and Tuesday night, resulting in dangerous wind chills and temperatures of more than 30 below zero in the eastern part of the state. Temperatures are expected to hit an all-time low for this winter Thursday morning.
The heavy snow in the area so far has led forecasters to warn of major spring flooding in the Red River Valley.
The latest projection from the North Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen, Minn., puts the chance of major flooding at 90 percent in the Fargo area and at 45 percent in the Grand Forks area. The weather service defines major flood stage as 30 feet in Fargo and 46 feet in Grand Forks.
Weather service meteorologist Brad Hopkins in Grand Forks said the outlook is preliminary.
“The snow we’ve had has had a fairly low water content, because the snow is drier because of the colder temperatures,” he said Sunday.
“Really the biggest question mark is going to be how much more snow we get, how much more water content is going to be in that snow, how quickly it melts, and is there going to be any rainfall on top of the snowpack,” Hopkins said.