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Frigid temps to continue; snow less likely

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Blame Greenland.

The air above the hulking island, known more for ice than emerald fields, is in a blocking pattern - as in blocking warmer air from flowing over northern Minnesota.

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“That’s the macro,” said Bill Barrett, a meteorologist technician at the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. “The micro is the two, three, and four inches of snow we keep getting. It’s just feeding back on itself, so it’s not allowing itself to warm up.”

That blocking pattern resulted in eight inches of snow being dumped on Bemidji Monday night. But take heart: Badger got a foot.

Those eight inches turned into much more in some places, namely County Highway 2, a near 30-mile stretch of which was shut down Monday night. Snow drifted on township and county roads, and the few people brave enough to travel created another, unseen hazard.

“You’ve got snow blowing across the road and cars driving on it. And that creates black ice,”said Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp. “Mostly it was cars that went off the road and into ditches or rolled over. But there weren’t any serious injuries that I’ve heard of. It was the usual adventure we have when this weather hits, and you have people who get out and drive against their better judgment.”

Thankfully, for those who may not have heeded the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s warning to stay off the roads and found themselves stranded, deputies maintained control of their squads.

“They’re careful. They know they’re not doing any good if they’re sitting in the ditch,” Hodapp said.

While there isn’t any snow in the forecast for the next few days, you can continue to blame Greenland for frigid temperatures the rest of the week, according to Barrett. Don’t expect anything over freezing, which shouldn’t be a problem considering the month of March has seen only one 32-plus-degree day. In the first week, we hit 33-degrees. For an hour. Remember that wonderful time?

“That’s really hardly even enough to keep track of,” Barrett said. “Other than that, our next high was 30.”

But compared to the valley that holds Grand Forks and Fargo, Bemidji’s altitude may result in temperatures about five-degrees warmer than its neighbors to the west.

“You’ve got that on your side,” Barrett said.

As far as when to expect a warm-up, don’t. At least not until the last red X is checked on March 31, and the page is flipped.

“It’s not leaving,” Barrett said, anticipating temperatures in the 20s and teens for the rest of the week. “We’re just going to have to wait for mother nature, the calendar. Maybe this time next week we’ll have better news. We’ll see.” 

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