Icy roads to plague region againAn early blast of freezing rain contributed to several accidents in northeastern North Dakota on Friday morning, and warm temperatures that began melting snow in the afternoon could make for icy roads once again this morning.
By: By Ryan Johnson, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
An early blast of freezing rain contributed to several accidents in northeastern North Dakota on Friday morning, and warm temperatures that began melting snow in the afternoon could make for icy roads once again this morning.
By 10:30 a.m. Friday, the North Dakota Highway Patrol responded to four rollovers in the Grand Forks area and 12 vehicles that slid into the ditch or median along Interstate 29 in Grand Forks County.
Deputies also were busy responding to accidents and rollovers in Pembina and Walsh counties, including a crash on Interstate 29 north of Drayton, N.D., that involved three semis and a snowplow. The accident caused a two-hour closure of the northbound interstate lanes.
National Weather Service meteorologist Vince Godon said freezing rain fell on an area that went from Winnipeg down through Pembina, N.D., and then into the Lake of the Woods area in Minnesota.
Grand Forks was “right on the edge of it,” he said, and only got about 0.01 inches of rain. But areas near the Canadian border reported as much as 0.10 inches, which prompted officials to issue a no travel advisory due to icy roads for much of the early morning.
“But once the sun was out today, most of it melted off,” Godon said.
Grand Forks reached 37 degrees by Friday afternoon, and much of the region enjoyed a sunshine-filled day above the freezing point.
Godon said another band of freezing rain was moving in from eastern Montana on Friday evening that was heading toward central North Dakota, including Bismarck and Jamestown, which could make for icy roads in some areas again this morning.
But even if the Red River Valley doesn’t get more freezing rain today, he said roads in the area still could be icy as the nighttime low of about 19 degrees in Grand Forks freezes the newly melted snow.
“I would not be surprised if the roads were a little bit slippery in the morning,” he said.
Grand Forks can expect another day of above-normal temperatures today, reaching a high of about 29 degrees before dipping down to a low of about 12 degrees. But more subzero weather is on the way and thermometers in the region will start to drop below zero by Sunday evening.
“It looks like it will be cold for most of the coming week,” Godon said.
Travelers are urged to monitor road conditions and use caution while driving.
For North Dakota road information, call 511 or visit www.dot.nd.gov.
For Minnesota road information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.
Ryan Johnson is a reporter
at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.