Challenging travel: Storm drops little snow but winds create hazardous conditionsWhile the accumulated snow may not have stacked too high in Jamestown Monday, winds that blew steady between 20 and 30 mph created hazardous travel conditions and closed schools.
By: By Chris Olson, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
While the accumulated snow may not have stacked too high in Jamestown Monday, winds that blew steady between 20 and 30 mph created hazardous travel conditions and closed schools.
Two inches of snow fell Sunday night as recorded at 6 a.m. Monday at the North Dakota State Hospital.
The National Weather Service office in Bismarck issued a blizzard warning that was set to expire at 7 p.m. Monday for the James River Valley area including Jamestown, Carrington and Edgeley. Winds gusted to 38 mph during the afternoon.
While the winds were expected to subside sometime after 8 p.m. Monday, the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota State Highway Patrol advised no travel in eastern North Dakota, including Jamestown, through this morning.
NDDOT announced that snowplows were pulled at 7 p.m. Monday in the rural areas of Devils Lake, Grand Forks, Fargo, Valley City and Jamestown until early today. Plow drivers had been working since early Monday.
“Motorists should be advised that roads may be blocked overnight in these areas due to high winds creating heavy snow drifts in sheltered areas and at structures,” the announcement read.
The difficult travel conditions Monday prompted Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Bob Toso to cancel classes.
NWS Meteorologist Adam Jones said the winds were expected to die down sometime after 8 p.m. Monday, but the accompanying cold air pulled down from Canada by a low pressure system will hang around until Friday.
The high winds and snow came about Sunday when the low pressure system from Canada ran into another low pressure system from down south, drawing moisture from the Gulf Coast region.
“The two systems kind of met at the North Dakota-South Dakota border and created the storm most of the eastern side of the state has experienced,” Jones said.
The low temperature Monday night was expected to drop to minus 8 with wind chill values as low as minus 20.
Jones said Tuesday there is a slight chance of snow before 7 a.m. today. The high temperature is expected to reach 14 degrees with the sky becoming partly sunny through the day. The wind chill value will stay right around minus 20 as the wind will be out of the northwest starting at 6-11 mph increasing to 12-17 mph in the afternoon.
“The next four days we are going to struggle to get to the mid-teens,” Jones said. “Tuesday night the low temperature will be minus 15 with minus 30 wind chills.”
Wednesday and Thursday expect clear skies, with the next chance for snow coming in Friday.
Snow removal was expected to begin in downtown Jamestown Monday evening, moving into residential areas today.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org