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Charly Haley, Published November 08 2012

Worst of winter storm may miss F-M area

FARGO – While most of North Dakota is forecast to see snowstorms this weekend, the Fargo area will probably be an exception.

The snow started Thursday afternoon in western North Dakota. John Wheeler, meteorologist at WDAY, said he was forecasting rain today and Saturday because temperatures will probably be too warm for snow.

There will be snow and freezing rain in western North Dakota and in the eastern part of the state, north of Fargo.

“Travel could be difficult (in those directions), especially Friday and Saturday,” Wheeler said.

Jennifer Ritterling, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said there’s a winter storm warning from Dickinson to New Rockford, and there’s a winter storm watch from Devils Lake to Grand Forks and into northern Minnesota.

The storm will probably have its worst impact near Williston, with the heaviest snow in northwestern and north-central North Dakota, Ritterling said.

Wheeler said it was too early to predict how much snow will fall on parts of the state affected by the storm. There may be 6 to 10 inches in some areas, he said, but less in other areas because of the temperatures.

As of Thursday evening, Fargo’s forecast for later in the weekend was still uncertain. Wheeler and Ritterling both said there could be snow Saturday night or Sunday, and Wheeler suggested that people stay in touch with the forecasts.

“These big, dynamic storms always have a few surprises,” he said.

The National Weather Service forecast predicted snow and freezing rain Saturday night, becoming all snow after midnight, and a 30 percent chance of snow showers Sunday.

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