ALBERTA CLIPPER: Slick roads continue as wind calms down this afternoon
WDAY's StormTRACKER meteorologists are tracking the storm. Check back for updates.
FARGO — Updated Friday, January 27, 10:45 a.m.: It is still windy, but it is not as windy as it was early this morning. The trend toward lighter wind will continue today as temperatures continue to fall. There has been a few light snow showers in N. Minnesota that have briefly reduced visibility, especially with the strong wind, but those will be ending later on today. Most of the region is now seeing cold and windy sunshine.
Updated Friday, January 27, 7:15 a.m.: Wind gusts topped 60 mph in spots last night. Fargo and Grand Forks both saw overnight gusts of 49 mph. Winds will remain in the 15 to 30 mph range with 40 mph gusts this morning before relaxing to 10 to 20 mph around supper time tonight. With strong winds still this morning, be on the lookout for areas of blowing snow and reduced visibility. Slick roads can also be expected today after some light snow and rain. This wind is also blowing in colder air, and temperatures will be going backwards all day. We'll be in the double-digits below zero by tomorrow morning.
Updated Friday, January 27, 4:30 a.m.: The Blizzard warning for today has been canceled. From midnight - 2 a.m., temperatures were above freezing for most of the area and slightly warmer than expected in the 33-35° range. Due to the warm temperatures, the snow crusted over just enough to prohibit the new snow we picked up last night from blowing around. Although with the warmer temperatures, there was a period to melt some snow and Grand Forks saw light rain, Fargo saw mist. This was more than enough to cause slick spots on roads, sidewalks, and driveways. The Winter Weather Advisory is still in effect until noon today for a little bit of blowing/drifting snow.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 10:05 p.m.: Temps in the 30s and brief rain showers are likely through the midnight hours before the Arctic front causes the big winds and falling temps later tonight into Friday.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 8:15 p.m.: The back edge of the relatively narrow band of snow is crossing the Red River at this time, so the steady snow will end. The snow and blowing snow will linger across western Minnesota another hour or two. For the rest of the night, we can expect the temperature to rise above freezing over most of the area during the midnight hours. However, the Arctic cold front will arrive after midnight. Wind gusts of 50-60 mph can be expected after midnight along with falling temperatures. Open areas will experience poor visibility in blowing snow and roads will again become icy from drifting snow. Ground blizzard conditions will be likely Friday morning, with a gradual improvement during the day.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 6:00 p.m.: The initial burst of snow and wind is passing through the Red River Valley region this evening. Expect one to two inches of snow and strong southerly wind. The temperature will rise into the 30s during the night. Expect a lull in the wind after the snow passes, but then even stronger west and then northwest wind will arrive midnight and after. This will produce blowing snow and falling temperatures. It is with this cold front that blizzard conditions will be possible, mostly in open areas, during the night and into Friday morning.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 1:30p.m.: Snow is moving into the Devils Lake basin early this afternoon and the southwest wind is beginning to pick up ahead of the main snow expected late this afternoon through the evening. The wind will become even stronger overnight as they turn from the northwest behind the snow when gusts could be in the 50-60mph range. Winds of this intensity will create blowing snow, dropping visibility to white-out conditions, especially in the open country.
The National Weather Service has upgraded the central and northern Red River Valley to a BLIZZARD WARNING beginning at midnight, lasting through noon on Friday.
Diminishing winds are expected on Friday but temperatures will also be decreasing as the arctic air spills into our region. High temperatures over the weekend will be below zero.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 9:45 a.m.: The front is marching closer to us this morning, but it is still calm
with temperatures slowly warming up from the morning lows in the single digits. A south breeze is still expected to pick up later on today, 15-30 mph, gusting up to 35 mph that will continue to bring in warmer air. The snow is still expected by late this afternoon-evening, accumulating 1-3". Temperatures will then rise to the 30s by midnight before they will come crashing down with the cold front in the early morning hours of Friday. The NW wind will be very strong, 20-35 mph — gusting up to 50 mph, which will cause the fresh snow to blow and drift Friday morning. The wind will slowly calm down through the day Friday, with temperatures falling all day.
Updated Thursday, January 26, 5:30 a.m.: Conditions are calm this morning as we await today's Alberta Clipper. A Winter Weather Advisory will go into effect at 3:00pm and last until noon on Friday. One to three inches of snow will quickly scoop through the area west to east this afternoon and evening. A little mixed precip will be possible across North Dakota as temps rise into the 30s. It's a short-lived warm up though; an arctic front will follow and crash the temps into the single digits by Friday afternoon as well as pick up the wind. Expect blowing snow to create near whiteout conditions (especially in open country) late tonight into at least the first half of Friday. The wind will slowly relax Friday afternoon and bring blowing snow to a stop. Subzero weather settles in Saturday.
Updated Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 p.m.: It appears travel will be impacted the most Thursday late afternoon into the evening when most of the snow will fall. During this snow, the wind is expected to be strong out of the south, causing poor visibility. There will then be a lull in the storm overnight as the temperature warms into the 30s. With the Arctic front late Friday night, temperatures will crash and there will be blowing snow in open areas.
ORIGINAL POST: A storm system will sweep in from the northwest late Thursday and Friday, Jan. 26-27, bringing rapidly changing weather conditions and difficult travel.
This Alberta Clipper will begin to impact the area with a strong south wind Thursday. Snow is expected to reach the Red River Valley region late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.
A quick one to three inches of snow is expected, enough to create poor visibility in the strong wind. The steady snow will become intermittent and light during the night.
The wind will switch to westerly during the night, and temperatures will warm into the lower 30s briefly, before an Arctic front arrives early Friday between midnight and dawn. A strong northwest wind will follow the front, delivering falling temperatures and blowing snow throughout the day Friday.
Travel will be impacted. There will be periods of poor visibility, drifting snow and icy roads Thursday evening through Friday. The temperature will fall below zero by Friday evening and this cold wave is likely to last more than a week, with mostly subzero temperatures and occasional dangerous wind chills.
The StormTRACKER team will update this article several times a day through Friday, so check back often for the most recent information.