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Red River Valley under blizzard warning

The blizzard warning is in effect for areas of the Red River Valley in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, including the cities of Fargo, Moorhead, Grand Forks, Valley City and Wahpeton, until 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Traffic emerges from a near whiteout during a blizzard warning Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, on 19th Avenue North in Fargo, with gusts of 39 mph.
Michael Vosburg / The Forum
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FARGO — The Red River Valley is under a blizzard warning as of Tuesday evening, Jan. 18, with wind gusts of up to 55 mph sweeping through the region.

Blowing snow is causing an extreme reduction in visibility, according to the National Weather Service.

Extreme winds and reduced visibility prompted the blizzard warning for northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, according to the weather service.

The warning is in effect for areas of the Red River Valley, including the cities of Fargo, Moorhead, Grand Forks, Valley City and Wahpeton, until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Heavy blowing snow is expected to hit the parts of the state under the blizzard warning and will occur most severely in open areas away from cities, according to the weather service.

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The western portions of the Red River Valley are under a winter weather advisory until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

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Snow blows over the tops of drifts during a blizzard warning Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, on the south side of Hector International Airport in Fargo, with gusts of 39 mph.
Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Northwest and west-central Minnesota are also under a winter weather advisory, and the Lake of the Woods region of Minnesota is expected to receive about 2 to 5 inches of snow.

The wind chill will fall to as low as minus 35 degrees overnight and into the early hours of Wednesday, which could cause frostbite to exposed skin in 10 minutes, the weather service said.

Much of North Dakota was under a no-travel advisory due to poor driving conditions, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Road closures Tuesday night include Interstate 94 from Sterling to the Minnesota border and most of Interstate 29. Additionally, Manitoba has closed Provincial Highway 75, which runs from the terminus of I-29 to Winnipeg.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that snowplows would not be out clearing county roads until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, and asked for drivers to stay off the roads until they are cleared.

Many weather reporting stations in northwestern Minnesota reported poor road conditions Tuesday night, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation closed Highway 210 from Breckenridge to Fergus Falls due to zero visibility.

For more information about road conditions in North Dakota, go to www.travel.nd.gov and get current weather updates at www.weather.gov.

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For more information about road conditions in Minnesota, visit https://511mn.org/

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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