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Get ready for wind: Gusts up to 60 mph expected throughout western ND

BISMARCK -- North Dakota residents will likely face strong winds today that may affect normal activity, according to state officials. Gusts are expected to reach as high as 60 mph during the day and last into the night. Patrick Ayd, a meteorologi...

BISMARCK -- North Dakota residents will likely face strong winds today that may affect normal activity, according to state officials.

Gusts are expected to reach as high as 60 mph during the day and last into the night.

Patrick Ayd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. said the wind was predicted to increase in strength throughout Wednesday morning, peaking between 11 a.m. and noon MT. He said this would sustain itself into Thursday morning, when the gusts would start winding down.

The National Weather Service also issued a “high wind watch” for most of western and central North Dakota, during which it warned that any open burnings could escalate into “extreme fire behavior” that could create a similar situation to the South Bismarck Fire earlier this year.

The agency discourages landowners from participating in any type of open burning activity, as well as holding recreational fires that it said could be equally difficult to control under such conditions.

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North Dakota Highway Patrol released a statement Tuesday reminding travelers that state law restricts travel for high-profile vehicles with long or oversized loads during inclement weather, as it may cause the vehicle or an object being towed to swerve or sway and cause a hazard.

Ayd reiterated the Highway Patrol’s warning to those planning to drive tomorrow, especially high-profile vehicles, saying that drivers might find the roads more challenging.

“It’s going to make driving conditions more difficult than you normally have,” he said.

He also said those working outside on elevated structures should exercise extra caution for the day.

“The winds are only stronger the further you get off the ground,” he said.

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