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Forum staff reports, Published January 09 2013

Major winter storm possible Friday into Saturday

GRAND FORKS – The first major winter storm of 2013 could hit the region Friday and Saturday, with the potential for snowfall of 6 inches or more in some areas, the National Weather Service says.

The Fargo area should see lighter amounts of snow, said Dave Kellenbenz, a senior meteorologist at the weather service office in Grand Forks.

“But depending on the track of this thing, if you get ice, it’s not going to be good either. So it looks like a pretty large storm system,” he said.

Warmer weather and southerly winds are expected today ahead of the potential storm. Kellenbenz said tonight will bring increasing chances for freezing rain or drizzle in the Fargo area, and Friday could start with a mix of freezing rain and snow before transitioning to snow Friday afternoon and evening.

“Probably the worst of the conditions are going to be that Friday evening rush hour through Friday night and then into early Saturday,” he said.

Those worsening conditions will likely stay throughout next week, said WDAY’s Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler.

Wheeler said while temps might even dabble with 40 degrees today, this weekend will likely touch zero, and it will stay in the single digits into next week. Wheeler blamed the cold spurt on arctic air coming into the area.

“This won’t be like the coldest January weather ever, but it’ll be the coldest of this winter,” he said.

The threat of freezing rain will grow tonight in west-central Minnesota, and snow is expected to develop farther north in the Devils Lake basin late tonight and spread east on Friday.

The storm has the potential to dump 6 inches or more of snow in the Devils Lake basin and northern Red River Valley – including in Grand Forks – through early Saturday, with near-blizzard conditions possible Friday afternoon through Friday night, the weather service said.

Fargo-Moorhead temps

Mercury to drop this weekend:

Wednesday

High: 29 degrees

Low: 20 degrees

Saturday

High: 5 degrees

Low: -16 degrees


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