Trouble ahead: Roads slippery as winter storm heads toward western N.D.
Dropping temperatures following a swath of rain that blanketed the Dickinson area Sunday, along with heavy fog Monday morning, had drivers on alert as roads became slick — especially in parts of northern Stark and Dunn counties.
Early Monday afternoon, a UPS truck collided with a semi truck hauling a tanker, slowing traffic near the intersection of Highway 22 and 23rd Street Southwest, about 12 miles north of Dickinson. As of 4 p.m., the North Dakota Highway Patrol had not released an accident report for the crash.
“We’re telling drivers to make sure to be patient on the roadways,” said HP Sgt. Dan Haugen. “If temperatures continue to drop, conditions could get worse. People should give themselves enough time for their trip, refrain from setting the cruise and buckle up.”
Emergency manager Denise Brew sent out a weather alert early Monday afternoon asking motorists to use “extreme caution” while navigating roads in Dunn County, especially roadways north of Dunn Center. County auditor Tracey Dolezal said salt trucks were out and about in various parts of Dunn County as winds began to turn wet road conditions into icy road conditions.
“The rain has turned to ice, so it’s slick right now out there,” said at about 3 p.m. “We haven’t had anything very noteworthy yet.
“We’re urging everyone to take it easy and travel cautiously,” Dunn County Sheriff Clayton Coker said. “This transition from wet to frozen is always the worst.”
Western and central North Dakota, as well as much of Montana, entered a winter storm warning Monday afternoon.
National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Mathews said he expected temperatures in the Dickinson area to drop into the teens Tuesday ahead of a blast of arctic air that is expected to send below zero at times later in the week.
“We expect snowfall in the southwest part of the state beginning Monday night and then the entire state should be blanketed with snowfall late into the night,” Mathews said. “There will be snow for a while.”
The NWS predicts snow to continue over northern North Dakota through Wednesday, develop over the southwest part of the state after sunset and spread east to the south central and southeast parts of the state after midnight.
Snow is expected to continue over western and central North Dakota through Tuesday night with wind gusts up to 30 mph creating blowing and drifting snow. The storm is predicted to taper off late Wednesday. As much as 10 inches is expected across the James River Valley in south central North Dakota.
“After that, the cold comes in, but we could be above single digits by Sunday,” Mathews said.