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Wendy Reuer, Published March 04 2013

Red River Valley fares well as heavy snow goes to north, west

FARGO – The Red River Valley got a reprieve from snowfall in Monday’s storm while neighbors to the north and west were not as lucky.

Weather forecasters salted predictions that the storm could bring up to a foot of snow to Fargo-Moorhead with heavy disclaimers, saying snowfall would vary a great deal throughout the massive system’s path.

And vary it did. While the storm pummeled the Devils Lake area with 12 inches of snow as reported early Monday evening, only 3.2 inches of snow was recorded in the metro area as of 5:30 p.m. As of 7 p.m., only 1 inch of snowfall was recorded in Fergus Falls, Minn., while 13 inches fell in Starkweather, N.D., near Devils Lake.

Grand Forks recorded 6 inches and Valley City, N.D., saw 8 inches of snow by Monday evening.

“It’s not through snowing right now though,” said WDAY Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler on Monday evening.

The storm system was expected to dump more white flakes overnight before moving on to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, eventually hitting the East Coast.

More than 10 inches of snow was possible from northwestern Minnesota down into southwestern Wisconsin, including the Twin Cities, by this evening, according to the weather service.

Vince Goden, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said the system could even strengthen as it moves, dropping more snow in other parts of the country before it moves off land.

No travel was advised in several North Dakota counties Monday, and many schools started classes late or canceled them for the day, as did a handful in Minnesota.

As of press time, no serious accidents had been reported in the region.

The Fargo-Moorhead area remains in a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. today.

Goden said Monday night that it is unlikely the warning will be extended.

While more snow this week is not in the forecast, Wheeler said he does expect the weather to remain cool for some time. He said it will be near zero tonight with temperatures in the 20s and low 30s for the next two weeks.

“So no melting at least through the middle of the month,” Wheeler said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530