No time to waste: Residents still digging out as 8 to 12 inches new snow possibleMeteorologists are anticipating another storm will start sometime Tuesday that could produce twice as much snow as what’s on the ground already. “There are numerous winters where we get a big push at the end,” said Daryl Ritchison, WDAY meteorologist.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Meteorologists are anticipating another storm will start sometime Tuesday that could produce twice as much snow as what’s on the ground already.
“There are numerous winters where we get a big push at the end,” said Daryl Ritchison, WDAY meteorologist.
Ritchison said base snowfall along Interstate 94 in Stutsman County could be anywhere from 8 to 12 inches.
“Yeah, there is some potential with this one (storm cell) far more than any one this winter,” he said.
The storm will most likely start Tuesday evening and continue into Wednesday morning. Wednesday has the potential to bring blizzard-like conditions as well.
Ritchison said it will take consistent 35-mph winds to make it a blizzard. That likely won’t happen, as winds are forecasted to be around 25 mph Wednesday with gusts up to 35 mph.
Jamestown received 7 inches of snow in the weekend storm, according to Jamestown Regional Airport.
Traffic was relatively quiet Monday, said Lt. Robert Opp, dispatch shift supervisor at the Law Enforcement Center. Opp said there were two minor accidents and one report of a semi-truck stuck on the 700 block of First Avenue South.
As of Monday morning the Buffalo Scenic Road was also closed until further notice.
City crews started clearing snow from residential streets at 11 a.m. Monday and downtown at 11 p.m. Monday.
If the forecast holds true, crews will be back out working later in the week, with a potential blizzard and heavy snow on the way.
Winds don’t factor into the equation of a blizzard at the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said NWS Meteorologist Janine Vining. Instead NWS looks at visibility during the storm.
“We’re looking at anywhere from Tuesday night to (Wednesday afternoon to) probably be the worst,” Vining said.
She expects whiteout conditions with less than a quarter mile of visibility.
The NWS had Jamestown under a blizzard watch since Sunday. At 3 p.m. Monday that was upgraded to a blizzard warning from 3 p.m. Tuesday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Temperatures won’t become frigid. Tuesday night could see a low of 20 and Wednesday should see a low temperature hovering around 5 or 10 degrees, Vining said.
While this winter hasn’t seen significant snowfall until now, moisture levels are very close to the average, Ritchison said.
“Because the last three or four winters have been snowy and wet, and of course all the flooding going on, I think a lot of people have assumed this winter has been dry,” he said. “When really the reality is, it has not been as dry as most people realize.”
Snow is one thing, but moisture another. It may take several inches of snow or more to get one inch of moisture.
Currently Jamestown is only about half an inch behind the average of moisture accumulation at this point, Ritchison said.
“It always comes down to water,” he said. “Snow has been below average this winter, but certainly we’ve had some rain events and other things.”
According to the NWS, the outlook for spring flooding in Jamestown is relatively low, but excess water in snow can lead to problems in the spring.
“I’ve always told people, it’s North Dakota and Minnesota, we’re always one storm away from changing everything,” Ritchison said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org