Winter arrives

While its late arrival may be arguably fashionable, winter has made a grand entrance in southeast North Dakota.

Mother Nature dropped a reported 5.5 inches of snow on the Valley City area over the weekend according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

“Five-point-five is what are unofficial co-op observer reported, but he’s a good measurer and he lives pretty close to town,” NWS meteorologist Bill Barrett said Monday morning. “That was called in around noon time, 12:05.”

A travel alert was issued Friday afternoon as wet snow and freezing temperatures turned area highways into skating rinks. In all, 29 vehicles slid into ditches and interstate medians and seven rollovers were reported in Barnes County.

Last week the NWS increased the flood probability rating in the Red River Basin from March 6 through June 4, and will release another flood outlook on Thursday, March 22. Barrett said the weather outlook for the area this week has the possibility of becoming interesting.

“We’re looking for moderating temperatures and much less in terms of snow on our forecast,” he said. “Pretty much partly sunny days except for a chance of some slight precip Tuesday night, which could either be rain or snow, because it is warming up a bit... a little cooler on Wednesday but then warming up for the end of the week and the weekend, into the 30s and 40s. Not a whole lot of chance for precipitation.”