Updated: All of southwest North Dakota under blizzard warning
Southwest North Dakota is under a blizzard warning that could bring more than a foot of snow and cause whiteout conditions for Interstate 94 and south through Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a no-travel advisory for most areas in southwest North Dakota on Sunday night because of hazardous road conditions. Cities included in the advisory are Dickinson, New England, Beach, Belfield, Richardton, Killdeer and Beulah.
"We can tell you that travel itself will be dangerous, if not impossible," said Ken Simosko, a meteorologist with NWS in Bismarck.
Sgt. Kylan Klauzer with the Dickinson Police Department said in an email Monday morning that "roads are not in good shape right now" anbd that officers aren't recommending travel within the city limits unless absolutely necessary.
Sheriffs offices from Billings, Golden Valley and Oliver counties echoed the Department of Transportation with no-travel advisories of their own, citing accumulations of 4-5 inches of snow by 9 p.m. Sunday. The McKenzie County Sheriff's Office also called for no travel because of compacted snow and ice on roads.
All along I-94 and south, Simosko said, "it's gonna be a mess" with 8 to 12 inches of snow and wind up to 45 mph creating blizzard conditions.
The conditions will continue from Sunday night until about 3 p.m. MDT Monday. The heaviest periods of snow are expected to be between Sunday night and mid-morning Monday with snow tapering off into the afternoon. The blizzard warning is in effect until 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Todd Hamilton, another meteorologist with the NWS in Bismarck, said temperatures in the Dickinson area are expected to get into the low teens with gusts pushing wind chills to zero or possibly below zero on Monday morning.
“Even though it’s not drastically cold, the winds will make it feel awful darn cold,” Hamilton said.
Sgt. Dan Haugen of the North Dakota Highway Patrol advised that travelers watch road conditions closely and stay tuned to media for travel advisories that are expected to be issued for areas in southwest North Dakota.
“There’s a snow accumulation and in some areas it’s on top of ice,” Haugen said.
Areas north of I-94, including the communities of Killdeer, Medora and Beach, were in a winter storm warning until 11:10 p.m. Sunday before being upgraded to a blizzard warning.
The Williams County Sheriff’s Office issued a no-travel advisory shortly after midnight due to icy roads and several accidents, especially around the Williston area and U.S. Highways 85 and 2. The North Dakota Stockmen's Association sent a release Sunday afternoon, urging livestock producers to brace for this storm -- likely the worst the area will see since the October 2013 blizzard that decimated herds in western South Dakota and parts of southwest North Dakota.
Though most roads in southwest North Dakota have a no-travel advisory, visit the Department of Transportation's travel map website for an updated listing.