Storm enters final day
Spring blizzard buries Minot area
A spring blizzard continues to work its way through North Dakota after dumping nearly 20 inches of snow in Minot as of early Wednesday afternoon, with more snow predicted.
Austin Kraklau of the North Central Research Center reported 11-1/2 inches of snow and 1.58 inches of moisture at that location south of Minot as of 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The blizzard caused numerous school and event cancellations and business closures.
The storm closed several highways, including much of Interstate 29 and 94 on Tuesday, and no travel was advised in many areas of the state Wednesday, including in the city of Minot.
Today should finally see the storm taper off but not until late in the day.
“Winds are going to continue to pick up on the backside of the storm. We had the front side yesterday now the backside today and tomorrow,” Rick Krolak of the National Weather Service said Wednesday.
With the backside of the blizzard, the Minot region was predicted to get more snow on Wednesday and possibly some today, although the storm should reduce to mainly wind and drifting snow in the afternoon.
Today’s wind was forecasted on Wednesday at 25-30 mph with 45 mph wind gusts. The wind should lose much of its force by evening, Krolak said. The forecast had the temperature in the mid-20s.
Minot’s 19.6 inches as of early Wednesday afternoon has been typical for western North Dakota, Krolak said. Grassy Butte led the way with 22 inches. Velva already had 19 inches as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Krolak said snowfall from northwestern North Dakota to the Turtle Mountains should be well over 20 inches entering the storm’s final day.
The blizzard of 2022 ranks as one of the state’s most ferocious. Another memorable, three-day April blizzard in 1997 left two feet of snow in Bowman in southwestern North Dakota. Most of the Minot area had received 10-15 inches, although east of the city as much as 20 inches fell.
In that blizzard of 25 years ago, snow and winds of 65 mph contributed to the deaths of 100,000 head of cattle, widespread power outages and stranded motorists, according to the weather service. Bismarck received 17.5 inches of snow to bring its total to 101.4 inches for the 1996-97 season, setting the city’s record for snowfall in a single season that stands today.