Storms could drop 6 inches of snow or just a littleTwo storms blowing into the Midwest could pack a one-two punch of snow and wind for the Jamestown area, but exactly how much of either is still up in the air.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Two storms blowing into the Midwest could pack a one-two punch of snow and wind for the Jamestown area, but exactly how much of either is still up in the air.
“I would not call what’s approaching… a huge storm,” said John Wheeler, chief meteorologist with WDAY, of the first storm on its way. “It will bring some nasty weather across North Dakota late Saturday night and Sunday.”
As of Friday afternoon, Stutsman County was under a winter weather advisory for Saturday night and Sunday, when the initial, smaller snowstorm is due to roll in.
“I don’t anticipate that this Sunday weather will ever turn into a blizzard, but a combination of snow and wind will certainly make for some tough travel, very tough travel,” Wheeler said.
The storm system was still out over the Pacific Ocean on Friday, making any predictions about total snowfall or wind speeds premature, he emphasized. In particular, Jamestown and the Interstate 94 corridor could either experience either very little snow or 6 inches or more.
Patrick Ayd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a good guess for the snowfall total might be 3 to 5 inches, with the heaviest snow falling Saturday night and Sunday morning.
“I would say the main difference why the forecasters have been pumping their chests a little bit more than with other weather systems this winter… one, there just haven’t been many weather systems at all, and two, this one will have some wind. There will be some blowing and drifting,” Wheeler said.
Winds during the storm will be east-southeast at first, and at some point Sunday, will likely change to north-northwest.
“It should be a fairly quick storm, so just stay in touch with the weather. Don’t rely on the (forecast) you heard last night. Get the latest information before you head out,” Wheeler advised.
He warned of the possibility of a “double whammy” with the second storm, which may sail into the area sometime between early Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s a ways out, but this storm has a pretty good potential to bring significant effects,” Ayd said.
The second storm may potentially arrive late Monday night and last through Wednesday, too, and the eastern two-thirds of North Dakota could see severe winter weather impacts.
However, the storm could still shift east, which would reduce the severity in the Jamestown area, or west, which would increase it, Ayd said.
“There’s still plenty of uncertainty about the timing, impacts and locations,” Ayd explained. “The storm bears quite a bit of watching throughout the week.”
That second storm will also have a stronger potential for leaving a nasty wind chill in its wake. The main threat from that storm system will still be moderate snowfall accumulations and blowing or drifting snow, which could drop visibility down to half a mile or a mile.
“Definitely, the storm system for next week is going to be strong,” Ayd said. “… it definitely bears watching, and we’ll see how we go through the weekend.”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org