Winter storm warning canceled for much of Red River Valley
FARGO - A winter storm warning for eastern North Dakota and parts of Minnesota has been canceled and replaced by a winter weather advisory until noon Sunday.
The winter storm warning is still in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday for much of Minnesota, including Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls, Bemidji and Roseau.
The winter weather advisory warns of blowing snow and low wind chills. Some lingering light snow will continue this afternoon and tonight, but otherwise the snow has ended.
Snowfall of 4 to 5 inches is common across the region, with visibility of one-half to one mile in open country, the National Weather Service said.
About 5 inches of snow fell in Fargo-Moorhead up to 11 a.m., according to estimates from WDAY meteorologist John Wheeler.
Snowplows are out in Fargo and Moorhead, with Fargo crews concentrating on commercial areas like West Acres and downtown, said Lee Anderson, maintenance supervisor for Fargo Public Works.
Conditions aren't too bad, Anderson said, though roads will get more slippery as traffic increases.
A travel alert issued by the North Dakota Department of Transportation is still in effect for all areas. Drivers can travel, but should be aware that conditions may cause delays because of reduced speed and visibility.
About 45 DOT plow trucks are out in the southeast corner of North Dakota, said Troy Gilbertson, highway maintenance coordinator. He said there are some scattered slippery spots and drifting, but the roads are pretty good.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Luke Hendrickson said snow is accumulating on roads in sheltered areas. In open areas, the roads are fine, but visibility is reduced.
He said several vehicles have gone into the ditch in these open areas.
"It's definitely not a good idea to travel today if you don't have to," Hendrickson said. "I wouldn't drive just to go shopping."
Several flights in and out of Hector International Airport have been delayed or canceled. Flight information can be found at www.fargoairport.com.
Several area sheriff departments said they hadn't received any weather related calls.
"People have used their heads," said Clay County Sheriff Deputy Tim Griffin. "Everything's going smoothly."
Winds are expected to pick up this afternoon, reaching 20 to 30 mph. The gusts won't be as strong as during last weekend's blizzard, but will reduce visibility, said Jim Kaiser, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
"It's pretty light stuff. There's not a lot of moisture with it," Kaiser said. "It's not going to take a lot."
The wind chill will also be quite severe, from 30 below zero to 40 below zero in the valley, Kaiser said. Temperatures will drop to minus 10 to minus 15.
Wheeler said visibility will probably be OK Sunday, but temperatures and wind chill will be "pretty brutal."
The National Weather Service also issued a hazardous weather outlook for portions of eastern North Dakota and west central and northwestern Minnesota, including Cass, Clay, Steele, Traill, Richland and Wilkin counties. Another area of low pressure will bring a chance of snow Monday night and Tuesday.