Posted 4/17/13 (Wed)
By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer
With the March and early April snowfall nearly melted away, the entire state of North Dakota was placed under a winter storm advisory between Sunday, April 14 and Monday April 15. Heavy snow was forecast to develop in varying degrees across the state with the possibility of heavy winds, blowing snow and possible mixtures of rain and freezing rain.
Though it got off to a seemingly slow start and didn’t deliver equally across the state, the storm held true to its predictions.
Northern portions of North Dakota reported accumulation totals in the single digits. But, according to the National Weather Service, the southern and middle areas of the state received totals near and above 20 inches.
Williston reported receiving eight inches of snow, while Dickinson had an accumulation of 16 inches.
Bismarck and its surrounding areas were hit the hardest by Sunday’s winter storm. One portion of the city reported snowfall totaling 23 inches, while another reported an accumulation of 17 inches by 7:30 a.m. on Monday, April 15.
For McKenzie County, Sunday’s storm started out the day with light flurries and accumulation until around 3 p.m. when the storm’s intensity picked up. Snowfall became moderate to heavy and was accompanied by winds from 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 34 mph. The winds, in combination with the moderate to heavy snowfall, brought McKenzie County to near-blizzard conditions throughout the remainder of the day and late into the evening. It was not until late Sunday night when the storm tapered back to light snowfall in McKenzie County.
As a whole, the area received anywhere from 10 to 14 inches, with Grassy Butte reporting an accumulation of 13.5 inches.
Sunday’s extreme weather caused closures around the state from school districts reporting no school for Monday to the NDDOT reporting no travel for I-94 from Fargo to the Montana border.
College campuses cancelled their classes and government offices in Bismarck delayed their opening until noon on Monday.
By early Monday, the storm had returned to light flurries. In the morning, the NDDOT travel map reported road closures and compacted ice all over the state. But by noon, many road closures were lifted, though caution was still advised.
By 1 p.m., the winter storm advisory was lifted across the state, with light flurries and only another inch of accumulation expected throughout the remainder of the storm.
McKenzie County received a total of 14 inches of snowfall in March. When added to the totals from this storm, it brings the area’s spring snowfall total to roughly 25 to 30 inches.