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Much of ND and northwest MN likely to miss storm's heavy snow

Most of North Dakota, including Grand Forks, and northwest Minnesota likely won't see heavy snow from a winter storm that could bring 10 inches of snow to parts of the Midwest.

A winter storm watch will be in effect late Thursday night through Friday afternoon for the southeast corner of North Dakota, central and eastern South Dakota and the majority of north and central Minnesota, according to a news release posted at 4 a.m. Wednesday by the National Weather Service. A blizzard watch is in effect during the same time for the far northeast corner of South Dakota, parts of west-central Minnesota and Sargent and Richland counties in North Dakota.

The winter storm watch covers Fargo and reaches into Minnesota's lakes country upward toward Bemidji — the Minnesota counties of Clearwater, Beltrami and the southeast portion of Polk are part of the watch. Most of northwest Minnesota, as well as Grand Forks and almost all of North Dakota are, for now, untouched by the watch, according to the weather service.

Early forecasts had the storm impacting most of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, with the heaviest snow tracking from central South Dakota through central and eastern North Dakota into northern Minnesota, but models have narrowed the band, moving it south of Fargo but still impacting lakes country.

The storm could bring 6 to 10 inches of snow to Bemidji and Detroit Lakes, where the heaviest snow should fall, according to the weather service. Meteorologists expect 4 to 6 inches of blowing snow to fall from Lisbon, N.D., to Fargo before hitting Baudette, Minn., near Lake of the Woods. Winds are expected to fluctuate between 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, and visibility could be down to less than a half-mile, making travel difficult. Temperatures also are expected to drop below freezing.

The weather service has more confidence in its models for the storm, but it's still early and the track could change. However, models favor the heaviest snow staying southeast of Fargo and stretching into central Minnesota before crossing the Canadian border into southern Ontario.

That doesn't mean Grand Forks and other parts of the Herald's coverage area won't see snow and cold temperatures. Rain and a tenth of an inch of snow is possible Thursday night for Grand Forks, with low temperatures dropping into the high 20s. More snow could fall Friday. Highs over the weekend should linger in the low 30s, while lows drop into the low 20s. The snow is expected to wrap up by Friday night.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248
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