The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 3, 2013

Storm to drop snow from ND into MN, IA, WI

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Another blast of winter weather is forecast to track from eastern North Dakota southeast into Minnesota and Iowa, the National Weather Service said Sunday.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning from Sunday evening through Tuesday for a system that is expected to dump the heaviest amounts of snow in eastern North Dakota and across a swath of Minnesota including the Twin Cities, down into northeastern Iowa.

North Dakota could see 8 to 12 inches of snow, with the highest amounts in Devils Lake, Grand Forks, Mayville, Fargo and Wahpeton. Six to 10 inches with isolated areas with 12 inches were forecast from central through southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin into northern Iowa.

“It looks like the Red River Valley is squarely in the target zone,” Greg Gust, NWS meteorologist in Grand Forks, said Sunday. “It should start to slide southward into southern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.”

A cold, dry air mass over western Ontario should keep the storm from spreading into northeast Minnesota and western Great Lakes, Gust said.

“Unfortunately, the heavy snow just wants to track down through that Milwaukee and Chicago area,” Gust said. “That tends to be a favored track.”

The storm comes on the heels of a weather service prediction for major flooding in Fargo and Moorhead, Minn., where residents in the metro area of about 200,000 people have battled high water in recent years. But Gust said precipitation from this storm would be considered normal and is already figured into the equation.

“When you look at the outlook we had in February, I wouldn’t expect it to change that much with this storm,” Gust said. “Now if we would get another one right after it, then we would start saying, oh, that’s pretty significant.”

Travel in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota is expected to become difficult late Sunday into Monday. Winds throughout the storm are expected to range between 10 and 25 mph, which could reduce visibilities to less than one quarter of a mile at times, weather service said.

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