Winter Storm Could Be Historic

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese
Old Man Winter is at it again. After teasing us with a couple of warm, sunshiny days, he’s rolling in with what the National Weather Service says “is a massive and possibly Historic Winter Storm.” I’d like to have a firm chat with Mr. Punxsutawney Phil, that rascally groundhog who promised us an early spring.
This storm we’re facing holds probable rain, heavy snow and potentially hurricane-force winds Wednesday afternoon and evening through Thursday evening. The massive system will wreak havoc through the Central United States. It’s even been given an interesting categorization: “bombogenesis.” This term is used to describe the process in which a storm rapidly intensifies through rapid and significant drops in barometric pressure (
Valley City and surrounding areas should expect 3 to 9 inches of snow, wind gusts up to 55 mph. The NWS warns that widespread blowing snow could cause significantly reduced visibility, and the heavy snow and strong winds have the potential to lead to power outages through the area, tree damage, and urban street flooding due to poor drainage or blocked storm drains.
Depending upon the precipitation transition’s location, different areas could experience rain, wintry mix, heavy snow and/or blizzard conditions.
Jamestown, Lamoure, Oaks, Carrington and surrounding areas have potential to see higher snow totals than Valley City, with 6 to 12 inches possible and winds gusting as high as 60 mph, with some gusts potentially in the 60-80 mph range, Accuweather says. Consider staying off the roads if you’re able, as any rain (if the area sees any) could create widespread icy roads while heavy snow and high winds cause whiteout conditions. Keep yourself and emergency responders, as well as Department of Transportation workers safe by planning ahead!
Old Man Winter seems to be in a bit of a bad mood lately, but I’m thankful that we at least have advanced warning about such dangerous conditions, especially thinking back to the blizzard of 1888, a massive winter storm (it covered 780 miles, Canada to Montana) that carried several feet of snowfall, record-low temperatures and gale-force winds. It came totally unannounced, catching farmers and ranchers outdoors and schoolchildren far from home in their schoolhouses. Between 250 and 500 people died.
Today, though we might not like what the forecasters have to tell us, at least we have the luxury of knowing in advance what’s in store.
And just remember, with every day that goes by (even if it’s a stormy day), we step ever closer to spring!