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Forum staff reports, Published January 12 2013

Area road conditions improving after Fargo escapes heaviest of snowfall

FARGO – After a dusting of overnight snow on roads that were icy in many spots, conditions are improving today.

“There will be residual light snowfall and flurries into the afternoon,” but the majority of snowfall is finished, said Jeff Makowski, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

As of 6 a.m., the snow totaled 1.5 inches in Fargo and 2.4 inches in Grand Forks.

The heaviest snowfall was from northeastern North Dakota near Devils Lake, to northwestern Minnesota, where accumulation ranged from 6 to 8 inches, Makowski said, including 6 inches in Michigan and 7 inches in Pembina.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation has a travel alert in effect for the northeast part of the state, including Grand Forks, Drayton, Cavalier and surrounding areas.

The alert is due to blowing snow and reduced visibility. Drivers can still travel in these conditions but are advised to reduce speeds and be careful.

Earlier today there were also travel alerts for the areas surrounding Minot, Dickinson, Bismarck, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Valley City, Fargo and Wahpeton which were lifted around 9 a.m.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, most of the major roads in Clay and Wilkin counties are in fair condition, though there are still difficult driving conditions in other counties in the region – including much of Otter Tail, Becker and Norman counties.

Makowski said that although the worst of the storm is over, there will still be strong winds blowing the snow and very cold temperatures.

“It won’t necessarily be a nice day, even though the worst of the storm has passed,” he said.

Today’s high temperature is expected to be 5 degrees, with a low of 10 below.

The wind should calm down later today, Makowski said, but the cold temperatures will last until Monday.

The high temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday will return to the mid-teens and 20s, with temperatures expected to turn colder later in the week, Makowski said.