UPDATE: WINTER STORM Up to 11 inches forecast through Tuesday
Astrong storm system could bring nearly a foot of snow to the Jamestown area by the time it is expected to move out Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 6 a.m. Monday to noon Tuesday for Jamestown and surrounding area. The warning calls for freezing rain and heavy accumulations of snow with some localized areas receiving 12 inches.
The system started with rain Sunday afternoon. Sometime around sunrise Monday, temperatures are anticipated to fall to the point that rain will change to heavy snow, resulting in a winter storm, said Patrick Ayd, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
“Then it keeps snowing until Tuesday morning,” he said. “We’re looking at 8 to 11 inches, all depending on when it turns from rain to snow.”
Todd Hamilton, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, called the storm system a “Colorado low” that moved into the Northern Plains Sunday afternoon. The system is expected to move through northeast South Dakota Monday and further east on Tuesday.
The anticipated snow amounts Monday and Tuesday would be the biggest of a winter that so far has only produced 20 inches of snow as measured at the North Dakota State Hospital. The system could increase the amount of snow received this winter by more than 50 percent and bring 1 1/2 inches of moisture, Ayd said.
Temperatures during the snow event are expected to remain in the 20s even overnight. Winds are forecast to gust up to 25 mph in the James River Valley, and blowing and drifting snow is expected.
Blizzard warnings have been issued for western North Dakota where winds of more than 30 mph are expected.
"We’re looking at 8 to 11 inches, all depending on when it turns from rain to snow.
PATRICK AYD, meteorologist, National Weather Service in Bismarck
Ayd said the storm poses a couple of particular hazards.
Calving season has begun and wet snow can be dangerous to young livestock.
“And with the temperatures in the upper 20s, this will be wet and heavy stuff,” Ayd said, referring to the moisture content of the snow the area will receive. “It is going to be difficult to move. Take frequent breaks and don’t overexert if you have to shovel.”
At this point, Ayd said the extended forecast looks good.
“There’s nothing major after this,” he said. “But then March is our snowiest month so you never know.”