1/4/22 

Summary:

The winter storm watch issued across the area has upgraded to a winter weather advisory. This advisory may be warranted for an upgrade through the day. Near blizzard conditions are expected overnight as winds are forecasted to gust upwards of 40+ mph. This will cause localized whiteout conditions, from blowing/drifting snow drastically reducing visibility and creating hazardous/dangerous traveling conditions tonight into Wednesday morning.

Along with the snow, strong cold air advection will take control of the area. Meaning temperatures will fall quickly as we head through this evening and overnight. Temperatures drop towards -5 tonight, which will also be around Wednesday's high. Temperatures continue to fall through Wednesday to an overnight low near 15 to 20 below. Wind chills tonight, expected to drop to near 25-30 below, and 25-40 below Wednesday and Wednesday night. The Winter weather advisory goes into effect 3:00 PM today and runs through Wednesday until 6:00 PM.

 

Overview and Impacts To You!

This afternoon, temperatures will rise into the mid to upper single digits across most of ND, while the southern valley increases into the teens. The warmest air will be over in lakes country closer to 20! As low-pressure tracks across SD towards WI this afternoon, it is expected to deepen, causing the winds to increase through the afternoon as they turn to the NNW between 15-30 mph and gusting higher at times. Snow showers will develop across the southern valley by roughly 6:00 PM, a little sooner during the afternoon in the northern valley. Snow showers will track from the NW to the SE.

In the F/M metro, snow showers may affect your evening commute, especially if you need to drive into or towards the northern valley and west. If you're traveling east, you'll be moving away from the incoming snow, but it will be chasing you. Snow should enter the lakes area by roughly 7:00 PM. Most of us in town or near the F/M metro should be fine for the most part, but snow will move in around the evening commute time.

Factor in the winds; you should plan on slippery road conditions with reduced visibility from blowing and falling snow, creating localized areas of whiteout conditions and widespread blizzard-like conditions by late this evening and overnight. Snowfall ramps up as we head into tonight and will stretch into Wednesday morning with gusts upwards of 45 mph with sustained winds from the NW 20-30 mph. (A blizzard warning has been discussed but will be held off on issue until later today/tonight to obtain greater certainty on location and timeframe of the warning if warranted to be issued)

Your Wednesday morning commute looks to be quite tricky. Snow showers will be tapering off through the morning. However, the winds will still be strong through the morning commute time. As a result, slippery roads and reduced visibility from blowing and drifting snow is expected. Blowing snow may stretch through the afternoon with winds 20-30 mph, lightening up into the evening.

 

How Much Snow Will I Get?

Widespread 2-5" of snow is expected across the area, with localized areas seeing 6+ possible. Some recent model runs are hinting at slightly higher amounts. Snow totals will ultimately come down to the ratio the snow falls at. A ratio of about 20:1 is expected. This would mean for every one inch of water equivalent, we would get 20 inches of snow. With a forecasted .2" to .3" of water equivalence across the area, this would translate to 4-6+" of snow. However, some models are hinting at a slightly higher snow ratio.

Attached below are three model maps on expected snowfall. A low end, expected, and a high end expected snowfall across the area.

 

Are You Leaving To Frisco For The Bison Game?

Well, if you are, I would leave this morning or afternoon. Otherwise, you might want to wait until Thursday. There are a couple of hiccups. First, our snow tonight into Wednesday morning. Secondly, to our south, southern Nebraska, and around the Kansas City area. Another snow system is expected to bring some measurable snow overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. 

When In Frisco:

Friday temps look to be in the 40's to low 50's, while Saturday is warmer in the upper 60's. Unfortunately, it comes with a chance for showers and thundershowers.

 

Meteorologist,

Justin Storm