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Chill out: Summertime weather on the way

An all-day rain allowed drivers to test how far they could make water splash up from the roads Friday on Villard Street in Dickinson. AccuWeather in State College, Pa., expects the rains to last throughout the weekend, changing into snow showers today.

Southwest North Dakota has seen a hodgepodge of weather conditions this week. But following this weekend's cold, windy, rainy and possibly snowy conditions, residents could enjoy 70-degree weather and sunshine, said Tom Kines, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.

Though Tuesday brought a high of 90, temperatures may fall to as low as 30 this weekend, he said, adding that snow is a possibility.

"This is Mother Nature's way of telling us it's not quite summer yet," Kines chuckled Friday. "The next few days are looking on the ugly side."

Along with up to 30 mph winds, 40-degree highs and light rain, today and Sunday could bring light snow, he said, adding that it would only be small flakes. He added that a positive to the weekend's wet conditions is that dust will be less of a problem.

Officials closed Highway 16 from Beach to Golva from approximately 3:40 p.m. Thursday to 7:30 a.m. Friday because of zero visibility from a major dust storm, Golden Valley County Sheriff Scott Steele said. He added that there was one vehicle accident that occurred shortly after the storm hit. A southbound 17-year-old driver on Highway 16 was blinded by the dust storm and rear-ended Clifford Maychrzak's vehicle, in which Lana Maychrzak was a passenger.

Brenda Frieze, Golden Valley County emergency manager, said all three suffered minor injuries from the crash.

"I think this year's just so exceptionally dry," she said, adding that visibility was "zero" because heavy winds carried dust over the road from surrounding fields. She also said the county is under advisory for slow-moving thunderstorms.

Kines agrees that dry conditions were a key factor in the dust storm, which is not rare to the area.

"It takes a stretch of dry weather to produce that," he said.

Starting Tuesday, Kines said southwest North Dakota should start to see 70-degree days and sunshine throughout the rest of the week.

Also next week, the State of North Dakota will be issuing a statewide tornado drill alert Wednesday, at approximately 10:15 a.m. MDT. When the drill alert is issued, Stark County will be sounding the sirens for about three minutes.

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