Severe Weather System in North Dakota; Heavy Winds Are Forecast

Bryan Dijkhuizen

At the moment, a stacking low-pressure system is centered over southeastern North Dakota early this morning, bringing broad wrap-around precipitation to western and central North Dakota in the form of snow and a mix of precipitation to the rest of the state.

Winds are still blowing hard across the west and north-central United States, with gusts of 40 to 60 miles per hour. It is expected that winds will intensify in the south-central and southeast during the early hours as the severe weather system now over the southern James Valley advances towards far southeast North Dakota by 12Z.

We could observe a gradual improvement after daybreak on Sunday morning west as the forcing linked with this system's TROWAL diminishes and moves more east between 10 and 18Z. As of the time of this forecast's issue, headlines will remain the same, but conditions should rapidly improve from west to east throughout the day on Sunday as the snow melts and winds gradually diminish.

Winds are expected to stay severe throughout the day, with peak wind gusts in the 40-55 mph range. Despite this, with SFC temperatures in the low to mid-30s anticipated for today, expect things to drastically improve after the snow ceases.

This is because it will be difficult to blow much snow about since the snow that is already on the ground will be moist and heavy. For the time being, we'll leave the headlines as they are and make the necessary changes later this morning.

High pressure forms through the western Dakotas tonight, with brisk northwest winds maintained by a persistent pressure gradient east of the ridge in the eastern United States. As a result of recent snow in the west and moderate winds, nightly lows will dip into the teens, with the 20s in the eastern United States.

There are also signs that fog and low stratus development may occur throughout the western United States Sunday night/Monday morning as a result of the weak winds and persistently high boundary layer moisture.

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