It may be the middle of April, but spring just refuses to stick around for southwest North Dakota.
The National Weather Service is expecting another round of winter weather beginning Thursday evening and heading into Saturday morning.
A winter storm watch will be in effect in southwest North Dakota from Thursday evening through Saturday morning, Patrick Ayd, with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said. The watch includes the counties of Golden Valley, Slope, Hettinger, Grant, Bowman, Adams, Sioux and Emmons. The watch was also expanded on Wednesday to include Stark and Billings counties.
Ayd said the precipitation will likely get started around late afternoon or early evening Thursday. The storm may start out with a wintery mix before changing over to snow through Thursday night. Snowfall is expected to be wet and heavy.
"That snow continues through at least the first half of Friday and then things may start to wind down a bit earlier as we move through the second half of Friday afternoon and evening," he said.
Snowfall could range between 5 to 8 inches with the extreme southwest corner of the state likely receiving the most snow. Winds could also be a factor with the storm, but Ayd said they are not expecting blizzard conditions at this time.
Ayd said those travelling through South Dakota and Minnesota should be mindful of the weather and plan ahead. He also cautioned people not to use cruise control to avoid accidents.
"For those travelling, it's going to be pretty impactful across South Dakota and Minnesota Friday into Saturday. So if you have travel plans taking you into Minnesota or South Dakota this weekend, the impact is going to be much greater and lasting much longer than in North Dakota," he said.
The Weather Service also began doing situation reports, which will appear in the upper righthand corner of the screen on the National Weather Service website when inclimate weather is expected in the area. The reports are typically updated at least twice a day and normally include one to three slides about expected conditions.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear the region is through with the winter weather, Ayd said.
"We aren't quite changing the pattern," Ayd said. "Unfortunately, we have to potentially deal with some more wintery-like weather in our future here. It doesn't look like we're going to flip the pattern to what we'd expect for this time of year. So, I wouldn't say this is the end quite yet."
For the latest forecast information, go to www.weather.gov/bis.