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Wet and slushy: Bemidji sees little snowfall despite forecast

BEMIDJI—Although Bemidji saw some snow and rain Wednesday, the weather wasn't as harsh as originally predicted during the winter weather advisory that was in place through Thursday morning.

For much of Wednesday, the weather refused to commit to either snow or rain as it drizzled and sleeted throughout the day in the Bemidji area.

Temperatures hovered right around freezing for much of the Wednesday, making roads slushy and slick in some spots, prompting local law enforcement agencies to issue warnings about safe driving. Multiple accidents were reported throughout the day.

The weather was expected to morph into snow later Wednesday evening, and was expected to accumulate anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of heavy snow, according to Nick Carletta, a meteorologist who works at the National Weather Service's Grand Forks office.

Although still relatively early for accumulating snowfall, it was a decrease from the original forecast of up to 7 inches of snowfall expected between Tuesday and Thursday in the Bemidji area.

"You might wake up to some wet snow on the ground," Carletta said about Thursday morning. "Since this will be very wet, heavy snow, it could cause some branches to fall; this early in the season, they still have a lot of leaves on them. So, there is some potential for some damage because of the time of year this is happening."

Carletta said the wind would be fairly mild and breezy Thursday.

According to the weather service, the advisory was set to remain in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday.

In spite of the weather advisory, Bemidji received relatively mild weather compared to other communities in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.

Thirteen inches of snow was reported south of Valley City, N.D., along with 12 inches in Dazey, N.D., in Barnes County. And the North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a travel alert Wednesday afternoon for areas near Michigan and Larimore along U.S. Highway 2 west of Grand Forks.

Fargo was expected to get 3 to 4 inches, which had the potential to break the record for the highest single-day snowfall in the first half of October, as was also the case in Grand Forks.

And at the other end of the state, Duluth was also experiencing strong weather Wednesday. Winds of up to 86 mph were recorded and 20-foot waves were spotted on Lake Superior, causing some of the area's along the coastline to become inundated with water.

According to the weather service's website, the weather for Blue Ox marathon events this Friday and Saturday should be relatively mild. Friday is expected to be about 37 degrees with sunny skies, while on Saturday morning there's a 30 percent chance of rain with a high of 41 later in the day.

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa

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