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Erik Burgess, Published March 03 2013

F-M area in for 6 inches of snow; more expected to the north

FARGO – A winter storm is bearing down on the region today, bringing with it as much as a foot of snow in the northern Red River Valley.

The Fargo-Moorhead area likely will be less affected by the storm, possibly receiving between 4 to 6 inches throughout today, said WDAY’s Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler.

The National Weather Service predicted a higher amount – between 8 to 10 inches of snow for the F-M area.

Wind speeds in Fargo will not reach blizzard level, and while visibility will be poor, there won’t be whiteout conditions, Wheeler said.

“This is not a blizzard. It’s just a snowstorm,” he said.

The worst of the snowfall should cease around noon today, said John Hoppes, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Grand Forks office.

“After that, you’ll still get some snow, but it won’t fall as heavy,” Hoppes said.

The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for the entire valley until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The warning includes much of the central and eastern portions of North Dakota, on a line from Williston through Jamestown and down to Wahpeton. It extends into central Minnesota along Interstate 94 to the Twin Cities, including Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Alexandria.

The storm will hit the northern valley harder than the south, Wheeler said. Devils Lake, N.D., could get from 10 inches to a foot of powder, and Grand Forks could receive between 8 and 10 inches.

Wind speeds in Fargo will be from 15 to 25 mph today, causing drifting and blowing and reducing visibility to a quarter-mile, especially in the countryside, Hoppes said.

The city of Moorhead is asking the public to remove vehicles from snow emergency routes and refrain from parking on those streets through Tuesday morning, according to a press release.

Residents are also asked not to place garbage containers out for collection in Moorhead, as trash and recycling service today has been canceled, the release said.

Late Sunday night, Wheeler said the storm was still developing, making it difficult for him to pinpoint snowfall amounts.

A low-pressure system moving today from the northwestern part of North Dakota down to the southeast is bringing with it warm and dry air, which could cause a “lull” in the storm and lessen snowfall in the F-M area and to the south, Wheeler said.

“It’s a tough one to forecast because it’s changing right over us, so the snow amounts are changing a lot,” he said.

Highs should be in the mid-20s today and will stay there all week, possibly hitting 30 degrees on Thursday, Hoppes said. There is also a 20 to 30 percent chance for light precipitation on Thursday, as well.


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