What to expect overnight: Blizzard conditions will hit hard from Bismarck to Jamestown, Valley City north to Devils Lake into NW Minnesota. Conditions in the southern Red River Valley will likely be quiet for a couple of hours. As morning approaches, there will be a chance for bands of snow to push through. Wind will increase and become northerly! Slippery roads, some impassable will be likely across most of the area overnight. Expect some accumulation of snow in the Fargo to Fergus Falls area through Monday afternoon. Although it looks to be around 2 inches or less, with wind to 45 mph, we can expect difficult travel.
7:30 PM UPDATE: 1 to 2 inches of accumulated ice in NE South Dakota near Summit. Also, numerous reports of 1/2 inch ice accumulation in SE North Dakota. Numerous power outages reported from Barnes and Stutsman counties, south to Dickey and LaMoure counties. Also, Ottertail county, and numerous outages in ND South Dakota in Roberts, Brown and Marshall counties. Freezing rain is being reported in Roseau county. Snow now in Fargo, with ice pellets and snow pellets mixed in for a nasty wintry concoction. The Wind will increase into the overnight for our Blizzard Warning counties. Expect all snow by morning with wind increasing out of the Northwest. Falling temps too!
5 PM UPDATE: I-94 will close at 5:30 from Montana line to Jamestown. ICE is accumulating across Jamestown, Grand Forks, Minto, and much of southeast North Dakota including the Fargo area. Temperatures are critical with this storm, and we are hovering at or above freezing for now in many spots. Rapid ice accumulation likely and standing water will very quickly freeze as temps fall. Power poles have snapped in eastern South Dakota near Watertown, and radio stations are reported to be off the air. We have reports of power outages near Fullerton, ND in Dickey county. Heavy snow will rapidly accumulate in the Devils Lake Basin into and through the overnight.
3PM Update: Heavy snow is pushing into the Devils Lake area, and should push into Grand Forks in the 4pm hour. There will be accumulating ICE in SE North Dakota between Jamestown, Valley City, Fargo, Detroit Lakes and points south. The ICE is moving northeast, and will push toward Park Rapids soon. A Travel Alert is in effect for the Devils Lake Area and Much of North Dakota.
1 PM UPDATE: Sleet, freezing rain and snow pushing into our area from the south now. Travel will become dangerous, with rapidly accumulating ice and snow over the next 3-6 hours.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! BLIZZARD & ICE STORM ON THE WAY! Track the latest interactive radar here. A light layer of freezing drizzle and rain has coated portions of the Valley already. The main event will get started closer to noon.
A CHRISTMAS DAY BLIZZARD/ICE STORM looks to take aim on the northern plains Christmas Day into Monday. A BLIZZARD WARNING has been issued for most of North Dakota, except the southeast corner. AN ICE STORM WARNING for the Southern Valley and Lakes Country. These are in effect for Christmas Day until noon Monday. In the BLIZZARD WARNING very heavy snow with totals over 8 inches possible and winds gusting from 40 to 60 MPH will create whiteout conditions making travel extremely hazardous if not impossible. In the ICE STORM WARNING area, a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is possible, changing to all snow late Christmas night. This area will be susceptible to an ICE STORM with accumulations up to 0.75 inches and 2 to 6 inches of snow are possible. This will make traveling hazardous. Power outages are a possibility with the storm. Stay tuned for updates!
CHRISTMAS DAY AT NOON: Heavy snow western and central Dakotas, with rain, thunder, sleet and freezing rain in eastern ND and western Minnesota. Some of the heaviest precipitation bands will move through the region between noon and 6 pm, so rapid snow and ice accumulation will be likely through Sunday evening. The strongest winds in this period will be in the western and northern Dakotas.
CHRISTMAS DAY AT 6 PM: ICE ACCUMULATION in the valley and points east could be up to 0.25 to 0.75 inches! FARGO-MOORHEAD could very well see accumulation of ice! Heavy snow and wind will bring BLIZZARD conditions into eastern North Dakota, especially from Grand Forks to Devils Lake south to Carrington and Valley City. Snowfall already over 12 inches in portions of central North Dakota with additional snow likely. DO NOT TRAVEL if you do not need to.
CHRISTMAS NIGHT OVERNIGHT INTO MONDAY: This will be the most dangerous conditions in eastern North Dakota and Minnesota. Freezing rain shifts to eastern Minnesota and most of our area will see snow (heavy at times) with increasing winds to 50+mph. Wind shifts to northerly across most of the region. Blizzard conditions likely. Conditions should improve throughout the day on Monday as the storm exits, especially in the afternoon. Snowfall totals look to be between 8 to 18 inches from Jamestown to Devils Lake to Grand Forks and Hallock. Isolated snowfall close to 2 FEET possible with drifts in this area up to 8 feet! From Lisbon to Fargo to Roseau expect 2-8 inches. Rapidly decreasing amounts of snow southeast of this line. However, significant ICE ACCUMULATIONS will be possible from Oakes to Fargo to Wahpeton to Detroit Lakes to Bemidji and points south all along the I-94 corridor to Minneapolis .
CHRISTMAS DAY & MONDAY: Bands of rain, sleet (ice pellets), freezing rain and graupel (snow pellets) push into the Red River Valley from the south by NOON. Some THUNDER will be possible as this happens!! ICE ACCUMULATION will be likely into the evening. West of the Red River Valley, expect heavy snow and gusty east and northeast winds to create BLIZZARD CONDITIONS THERE. By evening, most freezing rain and sleet will exit east after leaving up to 3/4 inch of ice! Overnight, Blizzard conditions push into and through the northern Red River Valley. Some of this snow could be very heavy, especially in the northwestern valley. Gusts could top 60 mph in central North Dakota, and be over 50 mph here in the Valley. Travel may become extremely difficult, if not impossible. Conditions will gradually improve into Monday afternoon as the storm exits. 8-18 inches possible in the James River Valley into the northern Red River Valley, including Grand Forks and the Devils Lake Basin. Snowfall amounts rapidly decrease south and east of this area. Stay tuned to the latest forecast for the holiday weekend.
TUESDAY INTO THURSDAY: We'll see some colder air behind the Christmas storm, but no major cold outbreak. After bottoming out in the single digits in most areas early Tuesday, we'll rebound with highs near 20 by afternoon. Wednesday we will see highs 25-35 with a slight chance of snow showers.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: We will be cooler to round out the week and start the weekend. Look for another chance of snow showers for Saturday.
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FARGO 7 DAY PLANNER:
CHRISTMAS DAY: Mostly cloudy with snow, sleet and freezing rain likely. Ice accumulation possible in town up to 0.3". DANGEROUS TRAVEL. Wind: S 15-30 becoming N 20-45 into the night. Low: 24. High: 34.
MONDAY: Snow continues for at least the first half of the day. Accumulation of snow in Fargo area between 2-6 inches. More north and west of Fargo. Cold northwest wind at 25-45 mph with falling temperatures. Gradually decreasing wind and snow chances in afternoon. Morning high: 22 with falling temperatures.
TUESDAY: Partly cloudy and seasonably cold. Low: 4. High: 17. Winds S 10-15 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers. Low: 17. High: 31.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low: 18. High: 24.
FRIDAY: Partly cloudy. Low: 10. High: 19.
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers. Low: 12. High: 21.
Updated By: Meteorologist Hutch Johnson