Wind, drifting snow and cold temps complicating travel in north Red River Valley
Northeast North Dakota and several counties in northwest Minnesota are under a no travel advisory, with high wind gusts, blowing snow and frigid temperatures causing dangerous conditions.
“Intermittent whiteout conditions” persist Monday morning in the north Red River Valley, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks said. A band of light snow likely will bring less than an inch of snow, but winds are gusting up to 35 mph, the weather service said.
Transportation officials in North Dakota and Minnesota issued no travel advisories early Monday morning, warning drivers blowing and drifting snow is causing poor visibility.
"Motorists should not travel due to hazardous conditions which may make it unsafe to travel. … Those motorists who choose to travel at their own risk may become stranded, and emergency responders may not be able to reach them safely," the North Dakota Department of Transportation said in a news release.
Grand Forks, Grafton, Pembina and Cavalier are included in the North Dakota advisory. The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued its warning for Kittson, Marshall, Norman and Polk counties.
Conditions are expected to improve late this morning as winds die down, the weather service said. In the meantime, a wind chill warning has been issued in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. The weather service warning should expire at noon, but until then, residents should be wary of “dangerously cold wind chills” that could range from 30 degrees below zero to a negative 45, meteorologists said.
That could cause frostbite in 10 minutes, the weather service said.
University of Minnesota-Crookston has canceled its Martin Luther King Jr. walk due to the cold weather, but the celebration program at 11 a.m. in Kiehle Auditorium, along with the free lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the Sahlstrom Conference Center will continue as planned, according to a news release from the school.
Despite winds dropping throughout the morning, Monday night still will be chilly, according to the weather service. Grand Forks could see a low of 20 degrees below zero, with 20 mph wind gusts making it feel closer to a negative 36, meteorologists said. Cities in the north Red River Valley could see similar temperatures, give or take a few degrees, according to the forecast.
Tuesday’s actual temperatures will be warmer for the region, with Grand Forks reaching a high in the low single digits, according to the weather service. However, winds could make it feel much colder.
“Wind chill advisories may be needed for Tuesday morning,” the weather service said. “Expect wind chills of 25 to 40 below zero.”
More mild temperatures are on the way midweek, with highs likely to stay in the mid- to high 20s, meteorologists said. Friday could see highs in the low 30s, the weather service said.