This past Sunday it was 63 degrees in Bismarck.  This morning I awoke to snow and blowing snow. Whatever happened to spring?  Well, the good news is that it is only supposed to be a one day event and is expected to affect my area through late tonight.  But the scary part is that we had 4 major snow storms last April and I would not be surprised to see the same thing this year.  So, wherever you are…enjoy your day. I’ll be out blowing snow since we are supposed to get 8 to 12 inches. So, here is my daily weather forecast:

  • Region affected: Northern High Plains, Northern Plains, Upper Midwest
  • Timing: Now through Tuesday
  • Blizzard conditions possible

The Weather Channel has named Winter Storm Xenia, the 24th named storm of the 2013-14 season and the first since the spring equinox.  Blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of Northern Plains in advance of this next storm.  Let’s break down the details, to help you plan for this storm.

Timing

  • Monday: Snow, heavy for some, will continue in parts of eastern Montana, northeast Wyoming, northern Nebraska and the western Dakotas, shifting into the eastern Dakotas and northwest Minnesota, with blizzard conditions possible.
  • Monday night: Snow ends in the Dakotas, but persists in northern Minnesota.  A thin band of freezing rain is possible in parts of central and northern Minnesota.  Rain may change to freezing rain, then snow in eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin by dawn, including the Twin Cities.
  • Tuesday: Lingering snow and some wind, diminishing late in the day in parts of the northern Great Lakes.

Snow, wind impacts

  • Snowfall potential: 6″+ of additional snow likely a stripe from western South Dakota to northwest Minnesota.  Over a foot of snow possible in parts of northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.
  • Ice potential: A narrow zone from northeast South Dakota to northeast Minnesota may see a brief period of sleet and freezing rain.  Ice accumulations are not expected to be significant.
  • Blizzard potential: The combination of high pressure over the Canadian Prairies and moderately strong low pressure tracking from the Corn Belt to the Great Lakes will likely produce blizzard or near-blizzard conditions in a large swath of the Dakotas, extreme southeast Montana, and western Minnesota Monday and Monday night, possibly into early Tuesday.
  • Wind chills: Subzero wind chills are likely across much of the affected area Monday night into Tuesday morning.  While not at all unusual for this part of the country in winter, it is now unusually late in the season to be seeing such bitter wind chills – remember to take the same common-sense measures to protect yourself from the cold as you would in mid-winter.
  • Travel impact: Road closures are possible along stretches of I-29, I-94 and I-90 in the Dakotas and western Minnesota Monday and Monday night, possibly into early Tuesday.  Secondary roads would quickly become impassable due to blowing and drifting snow.

 

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