First accumulating snowfall of the season in forecast for North Dakota

One to four inches possible

“It’s a certainty. We’re just not quite sure exactly where,” said Zachary Hargrove, National Weather Service meteorologist in Bismarck.

Snow. He was talking about snow. The first accumulation of the season. Up to four inches of snow, maybe more, falling from tonight into Saturday.

“It’s a quick band of moderate to heavy snow. Several inches will fall somewhere in that northern swath of the state,” said Hargrove.

The “northern swath” includes the cities of Minot, Crosby, Bottineau, Harvey and Devils Lake.

Snowfall in October is always possible in North Dakota. Last year an October storm dumped up to three feet of snow in the state with Harvey bearing the brunt of that storm. Snow at this time of year, said Hargrove, “is not too out of the ordinary.”

Nevertheless, for many North Dakotans, the inevitable accumulation of snow can wait a few more weeks. How long the snow will stay on the ground is not certain, but is is possible that remnants of the expected snow could stick around for a few days. The forecast for the next several days calls for below freezing temperatures

“It’s certainly going to feel like winter here the next few weeks,” said Hargrove. “We’ll be well below normal at least for the next 14 days but a warm-up in November or December is not out of the question.”

While warmer than usual temperatures for the final two months of the year would certainly be welcome, it is not at all a certainty, especially since the cold influences of a La Nina winter are in the long-range outlook. For now though, the expected first significant snowfall is a stand-alone event.

“It is the only accumulating snowmaker system that we see right now,” said Hargrove.

He added a caution though, noting it is the season of the year when snowstorms can be expected to form.


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