WINTER WIND: Conditions continue to improve, but many roads are still icy

WDAY's StormTRACKER meteorologists are watching the storm; check back for updates.


FARGO — Wednesday, February 15, 12:30 p.m.: All warnings and advisories have been canceled as of 12:00 today. There will still be a bit of drifting snow as the wind gradually settles down, but the blowing and drifting will not be as intense as the past 12 hours. The big concern now is the scattered ice on roadways from the drastic drop in temperatures overnight last night. Still take precautions today when traveling!


Wednesday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.: The blizzard warning has been canceled for all counties except Grant, Otter Tail, and Becker in Minnesota, which are set to expire at noon. Conditions have improved immensely since this morning, but there are still many slippery spots and brief reductions in visibility in open areas. Do still take caution when traveling today.

Wednesday, February 15, 8:00 a.m.: The wind has settled down considerably from last night, but it is still breezy for many spots in the area, especially to the south and east. Peak gusts were recorded at 66 mph both in Fargo and Grand Forks at about 11:00pm last night. The Blizzard Warning and Winter Weather Advisory continue until noon today for parts of the region. Conditions will continue to slowly improve through the day as the wind settles down.



Wednesday, February 15, 5:30 a.m.: The blizzard continues this morning with very difficult and dangerous travel conditions. Many counties are showing no travel advised with some roads being closed in both North Dakota and Minnesota this morning as well. Frequent white outs have been occurring over the region this morning. Winds have been gusting into the 60s overnight, and this morning still gusting in the 40s and some lower 50s. I'm seeing conditions being the worst for the morning commute, but as winds slowly back off today our weather won't be quite has harsh later this afternoon and evening.

FARGO — Tuesday, February 14, 6:45 p.m.: Blizzard conditions are beginning to develop across the southern Red River Valley area as snow begins to fall. In the Winter Weather Advisory area, the very strong wind is managing to lift some of the crusty, old snow and cause it to blow as well. Conditions will worsen this evening and overnight as winds increase to North at 30-40 with gusts around 60 mph expected. Zero-visibility (true whiteout conditions) will occur in places that get as little as an inch or two of new snow. Roads will be very icy due to the ground drifting snow and falling temperatures. The most severe conditions will be overnight into early morning and the wind is expected to slowly diminish during the day, Wednesday.

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StormTRACKER Weather
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StormTRACKER Weather

Tuesday, February 14, 12:30 p.m.: The storm remains on track to impact the area tonight through tomorrow with light snow, and strong wind being enough for blizzard conditions to develop. Snow will begin late this evening and continue through the early overnight hours, ending by morning. Although the snow will end, the wind will continue through tomorrow. Travel will be difficult if not impossible at times tomorrow, especially in the morning. Stay tuned to the StormTRACKER team for updates.

Tuesday, February 14, 4:45 a.m.: This winter system is set to bring snow, wind, and tough travel later today, tonight, and into Wednesday morning. A blizzard warning will go into effect this evening from 6 pm until noon Wednesday. 1-3" of snow along with extremely gusty winds will create dangerous travel conditions. Poor visibility along with slippery roads are looking likely.
I've grabbed a few screen shots of our Futurecast wind gusts as this winter system passes through. Winds will start to rev up this evening with gusts tonight potentially reaching into the 50-55 mp range! Open areas will have some of the worst conditions with the combination of snow and these strong winds.

FARGO — Monday, February 13, 9:55 p.m.: I've included a map showing where blizzard conditions (wind-driven snow to low visibility) in open areas are most likely Tuesday night.

Monday, February 13, 6:25 p.m.: Note on the potential for blizzard conditions Tuesday. The combination of a few inches of snow blizzard-force wind will only occur in a relatively narrow area from about Fargo or just southeast of Fargo to the east and south extending to the wooded areas of Minnesota. Elsewhere it will be very windy and roads may be icy, but there will not be enough snow for a sustained blizzard.

Monday, February 13, 3:25 p.m. : The Winter Storm Watch has been expanded slightly further east into Minnesota.


Monday, February 13, 2:00 p.m.: We have made a slight update to the snow forecast map. Most of this snow is expected to fall between late Tuesday afternoon through very early Wednesday morning. The strong wind is expected to start at about the same time tomorrow and last into the day Wednesday with whiteout conditions in open areas that get enough snow, and at least some blowing and ground drifting in places that get only very light snow.

Monday, February 13, 7:00 a.m.: A Winter Storm Watch has been issued ahead of the snow and wind moving in tomorrow. Our forecast has not changed as of this update: rain or mix will switch over to snow Tuesday evening with winds gusting 50 to 55 mph. Blowing and drifting snow will make travel difficult to near impossible late Tuesday into Wednesday, where it does snow. Because of the wind, travel impacts will linger even after the snowfall ends. Read below for more details.

Monday, February 13, 5:00 a.m.: A very narrow band of moderate snow, combining with widespread strong winds, is expected to impact the region this week. Following another mild day Monday, rain and snow is expected to move up out of the south during the day Tuesday. At the same time, a strong cold front will deliver cold and dry air from the north. By late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, this combination will set up a narrow band of moderate snow combined with very strong wind to likely make travel difficult.

This band of snow is likely to fall near or just to the south and east of the Fargo Moorhead area. To the north and west of this band, very little new snow is expected.

Northerly wind is expected to gust to 50 mph across eastern North Dakota and the Red River Valley late Tuesday into Wednesday. Blowing and drifting snow will be considerable where it snows. Temperatures will fall sharply Tuesday night and Wednesday. Where is doesn't snow much, there will still be some icy roads from ground drifting and falling temperatures.

Be sure to check back frequently for updates as this storm develops. The track of the storm will be critical because of the narrow band of snow.

John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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