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Ryan Johnson, Published November 22 2012

Warm weather gives way to snowy, cold Thanksgiving

FARGO – The unseasonably warm weather of recent days came to an abrupt end Thanksgiving afternoon, and the National Weather Service doesn’t expect a significant warm-up in the near future.

Meteorologist Brad Hopkins said Fargo started its Thanksgiving at about 39 degrees, but the temperature dropped to about 20 by the evening as strong winds and 1 to 2 inches of snow swept across most of the Red River Valley and parts of Minnesota.

He said the light, granular snow caused low visibility in some areas, and Pembina County in northeastern North Dakota issued a no-travel advisory at 6 p.m. because of black ice and poor conditions.

Gusts of more than 30 mph also reduced visibility and contributed to accidents along Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls, Minn.

Hopkins said temperatures were expected to drop into the teens Thursday night, and reinforcements of cool air coming from Canada should keep much of the region cooler than recent days.

But conditions should improve today as the system passes through, he said.

Fargo is forecast to reach a high of 23 degrees today and warm up to 35 on Saturday, with temperatures dropping below the freezing point again on Monday.

“There won’t really be much of a temperature rebound for the next several days until later next week,” he said.

Even if the weather change on Thursday afternoon felt drastic, Hopkins said temperatures on Thanksgiving were still slightly above the averages for Fargo this time of year – a high of 33 and a low of 17. After conditions improve today, he said the forecast for the next week doesn’t call for more snow.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587