February 13, 2009

Intense storm slams northwest with fog, rain, heavy snow

Intense storm slams northwest with fog, rain, heavy snow
Yet another winter storm has brought northwestern North Dakota to a standstill, stalling traffic, closing schools and stranding livestock and wildlife.
And in one case, U.S. Highway 2 was closed Tuesday between Williston and Ray because of heavy snow accumulation on the roadway.
A winter storm warning remained in effect through 6 a.m. Wednesday in Mountrail County primarily because of gusty winds accompanied by lingering flurries from an intense system that brought copious amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, pushing it up to the northern Great Plains.
According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Bill Abeling, an intense low pressure system was sitting over the Red River Valley Tuesday afternoon keeping precipitation from moving north and east. Abeling said Tuesday the storm was weakening but wasn’t in any hurry to move toward the Great Lakes and Ontario.
“We knew there would be two waves to this storm,” Abeling said. “And that’s what pulled so much moisture up from the gulf.”
Snowfall totals varied widely depending upon who reported it. Officially, Fortuna had the highest total with 12 inches through 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, followed by 9 inches in Williston and 8 inches in Stanley and Parshall. Bismarck reported just a couple of inches.
As of noon on Tuesday, New Town was struggling with 14 inches of new, wet snow that had fallen since about 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. On Wednesday, New Town and Parshall were digging out, a scene that has become all too familiar this winter.

The Weather Network