Colder weather on the way; Snow, wind then another big freeze to wrap up 2013
It’s hard to believe the temperature reached 40 degrees on Friday afternoon.
The sun and relative warmth of Friday will disappear today as the high temperature will reach 18 degrees early in the day, then fall throughout the afternoon into the evening, according to Joshua Scheck, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
Snow with areas of blowing snow will develop after 1 p.m. today with the temperature dropping to minus 1 by 5 p.m. Wind chill values will be as low as minus 25 with the wind blowing steady from 24 to 29 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph. The chance of snow is 90 percent, but accumulations are expected to be around an inch or less in the Jamestown area.
“This (the weather system) is an Alberta Clipper with an arctic air mass behind it,” Scheck said. “It will be frigid and is accompanied by winds and dangerous wind chills.”
The snow and wind will continue into tonight and early tomorrow, with the winds slowing to 13 to 18 mph Sunday morning. But, Scheck said overnight winds could gust to as high as 40 mph. With an expected low of minus 17, the wind chill could go as low as minus 35.
Aaron White, WDAY meteorologist, said there will be some benefit to all the melting snow from Friday.
“When that snow and melting refreezes, it won’t blow around,” he said.
White said based on what he is seeing in the forecast the heavier snows will be west of Interstate 29 and north of U.S. Highway 2.
Sunday the high will be minus 5, with a west wind blowing 8 to 11 mph and gusts up to 18 mph. The wind chill could be as low as minus 40.
Scheck said most of the state won’t see daily high temperatures above zero until Wednesday. The forecast calls for a high of minus 3 for Monday and for Tuesday the high is expected to be minus 8.
However, on New Year’s Day the forecast is for a high of 8, with a high of 16 on Thursday and 23 on Friday.
The weather today and tomorrow has Stutsman County Emergency Manager Jerry Bergquist reminding travelers to be prepared for all contingencies, especially today.
“From a dispatcher’s point of view, when there are big changes, like we’re having from today (Friday) into Saturday, people tend not to be prepared, especially when they are traveling for a holiday,” he said.
Bergquist said the highways and roads will be slick due to the melting that happened Friday. His advice for travelers is to have a full tank of fuel in the vehicle, bring warm clothing in case the vehicle gets stuck, and have a fully charged cellphone on hand.
“The cellphone is important,” he said. “But, people need to remember, if there are too many people in the ditch, there are only so many resources out there, only so many tow trucks and police officers.”
Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said he hopes people will pay attention to the road conditions and the weather conditions when traveling today.
“If it’s snowing and the snow is blowing around, slow down and take it easy. Keep your eyes on the road and drive to the road and weather conditions,” he said.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org