Strong Winds Return Monday Night Bringing Potential Ground Blizzard Conditions & More Arctic Cold

As we end the month of January, another Alberta Clipper will track along the international border. This clipper system will bring windy conditions across North Dakota again Monday night into Tuesday. Winds will be strong enough to create the potential for ground blizzard conditions. Therefore, a winter storm watch goes into effect Monday evening (6:00 PM) through Tuesday morning (12:00 PM) for eastern North Dakota, just east of the Red River Valley and northwest Minnesota. There will be some additional snowfall with this system and even a chance for some freezing rain, sleet, or a wintery mix combination come Monday evening.

For today, Sunday 1/30/2022. The weather looks relatively nice, especially in the middle of winter. Today's high temperatures climb into the teens with light winds under partly sunny skies and a slight chance for a couple of isolated flurries. So embrace this "beautiful" Sunday. Do some skiing, snowshoeing, take the kiddos sledding, or even just a walk outside because things take a significant turn after Monday with another shot of extreme cold!

Tonight, skies will remain cloudy, but the cloud cover will act as a blanket, Insulating temperatures in the upper single digits with south winds around 10 mph. Wind from the south will increase on Monday between 10-20 mph, ushering in very nice temperatures Monday afternoon into the upper 20's and low 30's! By Monday evening, we will see our chance for some light rain showers, freezing rain, sleet, or a wintery mix combination as a cold front advances through North Dakota. Behind the cold front, this would then turn over to scattered snow showers with strong winds from the northwest, Monday night into Tuesday.

It is not the amount of snow we will receive for the winter storm watch but the blowing snow causing dangerous traveling conditions. Warm temperatures Monday afternoon will allow roadways to melt. Add on some possible rain/wintery mix on top of that with falling temperatures and blowing snow. I expect roads to get pretty icy into Monday night. Blowing snow will add a polish-like finish to the roads, causing dangerous driving conditions with reduced visibility.

As mentioned above, snowfall accumulations look minor. Likely less than an inch in the southern valley and 1-3 inches in the northern valley and northwest Minnesota. Winds are forecasted to increase into Monday night behind the cold front, 20-40 mph, with some gusts possibly as high as 60 mph from the northwest. This will create widespread blowing and drifting snow, especially in the open country. The full extent of the blowing snow remains a little questionable. Mainly because a lot of the fluffy light snow has already been blown around, warmer temperatures and potential freezing rain may lock some of the loose snow in place. But I still suspect widespread blowing snow will occur. Even with a crust on the snow pact, winds will likely be strong enough to break through that crust. It looks like a 50% chance that a ground blizzard warning will be issued Monday night into Tuesday morning.

What should you expect?

Strong winds Monday evening into Tuesday morning, icy roads, blowing snow, and drastically reduced visibility creating hazardous/dangerous traveling conditions! 

What's next?

Behind this winter weather, we will experience another very cold shot of arctic air. Temperatures will fall through the single digits Tuesday afternoon with patchy blowing snow to a low near -15 Tuesday night. Subzero highs stretch through Thursday, with wind chills expected between 30 and 50 below or possibly even colder. However, it does appear likely that we will break back above zero for the upcoming weekend.

Make sure you stay up to date with the weather through this week, with some dangerously cold weather on the way!



Justin Storm