In the Chippewa Valley, we said goodbye to the 70s from earlier this week as a much colder and more fall-like air mass has moved into the region. Although highs the next couple of days will be in the 40s and winds will still be an issue, our transition was much less drastic than other parts of the Midwest.
The powerful low pressure system was strong enough to dump impressive snow amounts in northwest Minnesota and into eastern North Dakota. It also created near blizzard conditions with lowered visibilities and strong winds. For most of this area this wasn't too many days away from the earliest snows on record. In Grand Forks, ND, the earliest snow was October 2, 1950.
Below is a look at a surface map of the upper Midwest at about 7am on Thursday morning.
If you’ve never seen a map like this, then be sure to check out the link below from the University of Wisconsin. It includes all the information you need to read this surface map. Each little station is providing several pieces of weather information for each city the station corresponds with. Up in eastern South Dakota where we are seeing light snow (** that’s what that symbol means), visibilities have been reduced to around ¾ of a mile. Wind gusts were well over 30 mph with near blizzard conditions.
On this map you can also spot the cold front. The wind barbs (the little stick things coming out of the circles) show where the wind is coming from. Over Wisconsin, winds are still out of the south, but notice just over the border in Minnesota; the winds abruptly switch out of the west and are very gusty. That area where there is the transition is the cold front.
Above, is a radar image from 7am on Thursday morning from the Grand Forks radar site. Notice the darker greens and yellows where we’d be seeing some moderate to even heavy snowfall. Below are the impressive snowfall totals. This was a heavy, wet snow that brought down limbs and created power outages. The fact that many leaves were still on the trees makes the heavy snow just put more stress on the tree making limbs easier to come down. So even though we have a cold weekend here in store for the Chippewa Valley, at least we just didn’t see over a foot of snow.
NORTH DAKOTA MAX DEPTH
PEMBINA (PEMBINA CO.) 4 INCHES
LANKIN (WALSH CO.) 3 INCHES
PARK RIVER (WALSH CO.) 2 INCHES
MICHIGAN (NELSON CO.) 3.3 INCHES
GRAND FORKS (GF CO.) 3.5 INCHES
2SE MAYVILLE (TRAILL CO.) 3 INCHES
FARGO (CASS CO.) 1 INCH (VARIABLE 1-2)
HALLOCK (KITTSON CO.) 4 INCHES
KARSLSTAD (KITTSON CO.) 6 INCHES
2W BADGER (ROSEAU CO.) 12 INCHES
10NNW BADGER (ROSEAU CO.) 14 INCHES
ROSEAU (ROSEAU CO.) 7 INCHES
STEPHEN (MARSHALL CO.) 5 INCHES
MIDDLE RIVER (MARSHALL CO.) 8 INCHES
GRYGLA (MARSHALL CO.) 3 INCHES
THIEF RIVER FALLS 4 INCHES
RED LAKE FALLS 4 INCHES
(RED LAKE CO.)