Parts of Dakotas brace for blizzard, a few inches expected in Dickinson
BISMARCK (AP) -- As a balmy early winter draws to a close, the Dakotas are bracing for more late-February snow, and forecasters say the expected storm could be the worst of the season in many areas.
The National Weather Service has posted a number of watches and warnings for winter storm and blizzard conditions in parts of North Dakota and South Dakota today into Wednesday.
AccuWeather is calling for 1 to 2 inches for the Dickinson area.
Forecasters say snow totals in North Dakota could range from 3 inches in the northwest to 8 inches in the southeast. As much as 12 inches could fall in northeast South Dakota, and ice could accumulate along the Interstate 90 corridor to the south. Both states are expected to have strong winds, gusting up to 40 mph in some areas.
"It's going to be a very hazardous, dangerous winter storm," weather service meteorologist Chris Janssen said. "We're not expecting any bitterly cold temperatures with it...but very heavy snow, icy conditions and gusty winds.
"If you get a foot of snow on the ground, it will make it virtually impossible to travel," he said.
Much of the two states got snow on President's Day a week ago, and much of North Dakota was blanketed again Sunday.
A Williston man was killed in a snow-related accident off of Highway 85 north of Bowman Thursday, and other slide-offs were reported in the Dickinson area.
As much as 10 inches were reported in some areas, causing travel problems and accidents in eastern portions of the state. Highway Patrol Sgt. Josh Rude told The Forum newspaper that there were at least a dozen accidents in southeast North Dakota as well as "countless" vehicles sliding into the ditch. The state Department of Transportation early Monday lifted a travel alert for the central and eastern portions of the state.
The system that will move east out of the Rockies has prompted the first blizzard watch of the winter in some areas.
"Winter's coming back (with) a vengeance," meteorologist Kerry Hanko said.
The National Weather Service in Aberdeen, S.D., has north central South Dakota including Pierre and Aberdeen and southeast North Dakota including Jamestown under a blizzard warning until Wednesday evening, with expected snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches.