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Erik Burgess, Published March 02 2013

Up to 10 inches of snow possible Monday in F-M

FARGO – Batten down the hatches: The metro area could see a 10-inch blasting of snow beginning this evening.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning effective through Tuesday morning for much of North Dakota and extending into Minnesota along Interstate 94.

Fargo-Moorhead can expect 6 to 10 inches of snow, starting late tonight, with the bulk of the storm hitting during the Monday morning commute time, said Greg Gust, a meteorologist at the weather service office in Grand Forks.

“It’s not snow-mageddon, but it could be a pretty significant little snow event,” Gust said.

The last heavy snowfall that struck the metro on Feb. 10 brought with it 9.7 inches of powder. Gust said Monday’s snow is “pretty normal” for this time of year and won’t be as wet as that previous storm.

Temperatures today will push into the upper 20s and low 30s. They’ll stay in the 20s on Monday, dipping into the teens at night.

Winds on Sunday shouldn’t be blizzard-level, Gust said, with gusts expected to be around 15 to 20 mph.

“We shouldn’t be seeing a total whiteout,” he said, although he added that there will be enough wind for drifting and blowing snow, reducing visibility.

He said the temps will be low enough where there shouldn’t be any issues with ice or freezing rain in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

According to the weather service, winter technically finished on March 1. For statistical purposes, the weather service considers the winter months to be December, January and February. In those three months, Fargo received 28.7 total inches of snow. Since July 1, Fargo has taken on 37.1 inches of the white stuff.

According to the weather service:

The most snow this season fell in the month of February with 14.4 total inches. That’s 7.4 inches above the month’s normal amount, but well short of the seasonal record, when 33.5 inches fell in December 2008.

This past December, 5.1 inches fell, and in January, Fargo received 9.2 inches more. Both months were short several inches of their average.

The highest temperature in the most recent meteorological winter came on Dec. 3, with a scorching 50 degrees. However, it was well short of the seasonal record of 66 degrees on Feb. 25, 1958.

The lowest temp this winter was felt on Feb. 1, at minus 21 degrees. The lowest temp on record between the three months was recorded on Jan. 8, 1887, when the mercury dropped to minus 48 degrees.

This season, January had the lowest average maximum temperature, at 20.9 degrees. It also had the lowest average minimum temperature, with just under 1 degree.

December had the highest average maximum and minimum temperatures, with 22.5 degrees and 6.9 degrees, respectively.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518