I 29 CLOSED FROM FARGO TO GRAND FORKS; ICY MESS CONTINUES

Ice storms are a rare occurrence in eastern ND and western MN. Over the past 20 years, only 5 ice storm warnings have been issued by the NWS office in Grand Forks. Looking back, ice accumulations from this system were the highest received since the late 1990's. Ice storms are much more common across the southern plains and in the southeastern US. So, how does freezing rain form? Warm air aloft is required to melt falling snow. A shallow layer of cold air at the surface causes rain to freeze as it lands on objects. This powerful system brought significant warm air above the shallow cold layer at the surface, resulting in widespread freezing rain.

 

An odd storm to say the least!!  We don't often get ice storm warnings issued for our area, especially in DECEMBER!!!  This was basically a 3 day storm that parked itself over the central/northern plains.  WHY did it linger so long?  (see attached graphic)  Basically because we had a split flow in the jet with the polar jet well north keeping all the arctic air pretty much locked north of the border, however, this storm was so dynamic that it produced it's own cold air near the center of the upper low to create a wintry mess!!  Without the steering currents of the polar jet this time of the year, this pesky storm just sat and spun itself over our area with a whole mixed bag of weather.  This was a storm that was odd to say the least.....here's a few tidbits

 

1)  1st ever FLOOD WARNING issued for Fargo in the month of DECEMBER

2)  1st ice storm warning in Fargo since 2016

3)  Daily precip record set for Fargo total for 3 day storm (2.25" )  

 

According to the LRC, this storm will cycle back between the 6th and 10th of February.....now, will it act the same?  It all depends on if we have the same split flow.  If we don't, odds are it's a quicker moving storm attached with the polar jet.  It will be interesting to find out though

Stay tuned.....

 

Chief Meteorologist,

 

Dean Wysocki

Suggested

STORM UPDATE FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
Wed, Apr 19th, 2023 - 10:38am
WINTER STORM UPDATE
Thu, Oct 26th, 2023 - 11:49am