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Forum staff reports, Published March 14 2013

Region could see 1-2 punch of snow

FARGO – Much of the Red River Valley might be socked with a one-two punch of snow and freezing rain.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Thursday that will stay into effect through late today for much of the Red River Valley and Devils Lake areas.

A band of snow was expected to move into the Devils Lake Basin around midnight, spreading south and east, the weather service said.

The weather service is uncertain about where the heaviest snow will fall but said more than 6 inches is possible in the Devils Lake Basin by this evening. Farther south and east into the Red River Valley, the NWS forecasted 2 to 4 inches and the possibility of blowing and drifting snow.

Freezing rain could coat roads with ice in southeastern North Dakota, the weather service said, noting the storm could significantly affect travel into the weekend.

While a reprieve from snow might be possible on Saturday, meteorologists are keeping a close eye on a second storm system that will roll ashore in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday and possibly spread a swath of snow, rain, thunderstorms and wind across a large part of the nation next week.

It would start in North Dakota on Sunday evening, said Brad Hopkins, meteorologist with the NWS in Grand Forks.

“That one will probably be a little more intense, a little more snowfall,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the storm may have strong winds with the potential to cause low to no visibility in many areas.

“It’s still a couple days out, so we’re keeping an eye on that for now,” Hopkins said Thursday.