Snowstorm for North Dakota, Minnesota, Nearby Canada

By , Senior Meteorologist
October 4, 2012; 4:34 AM ET
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See our full-length 2012-2013 AccuWeather.com Winter Forecast update for the latest information.


Cold air, wintry winds and even the first snow of the season will sweep from Montana to Minnesota through today.

The first big blast of arctic air has arrived in the Canada Prairies and Rockies during the first part of the week and is now progressing across Montana and the Dakotas.

The cold air is being accompanied by gusty winds and even the first snow of the season for many areas.

Calgary, Alberta experienced a mixture of rain and snow Wednesday morning.

Mount Lockhart, Mont. has picked up 11 inches from the storm as of the midday hours Wednesday. Ten centimeters of snow fell on the foothills northwest of Calgary.

The cold push and rain changing to snow will then reach eastward over portions of the Dakotas and northwestern Minnesota spanning Wednesday and Thursday.

A swath of accumulating snow, perhaps as much as 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters), will fall over parts of central and eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and neighboring portions of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Check out our live blog for the latest!

The area between Winnipeg, Manitoba and Fargo, N.D. along I-29/Highway 75 will be in for a wind-driven snow.

The combination of snow, wind and marginal temperatures can make for a plastering effect, potentially weighing down some trees and power lines. The wind-driven snow can also greatly lower the visibility and stick to roads in some areas, making for poor travel and delays.

The city of Grand Forks, N.D. is likely be in this swath. Other towns and cities in the path of the snowfall include Bismarck, Devils Lake and Carrington, N.D., Kenora, Ontario and Emerson, Manitoba.

The snow will fall on some areas hit by drought and grass fires recently. A grass fire consumed a bridge near Vita, Manitoba on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.

The early season outbreak will easily bring the chilliest weather of the season so far to these areas and will be accompanied by a period of gusty winds. Gusts can top 40 mph.

"Daytime AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures likely will hold in the 20s and 30s over much of Montana, the Dakotas, and parts of Wyoming and Minnesota for a day or two," Sosnowski stated, "In some areas they can dip into the teens for a time."

The chill from this particular outbreak will take some time to get to the Great Lakes region and may have to wait for another push to do so.

This second push of cold air appears to be in the cards for the end of the week and next weekend.

Another bout of snow will likely accompany it over the Rockies, this time reaching farther south into Colorado.

This projected weather pattern fits with the connection between one to two weeks after tropical systems curve before hitting the coast of Asia in the Pacific, that colder air pushes into part of the northern United States.

The Pacific Tropical Storm Ewinar more or less did this east of Japan over this past week, and Jelawat is following suit, scraping Japan along the way.

Some of this chilly air will finally reach the Northeast next weekend.

It is possible that next push of cold air brings the first snow showers of the season to parts of the Great Lakes region.

The cold air will also sag southward along the Rockies and Plains.

As it does, a period of snow is likely to spread southward to portions of Wyoming and Colorado Friday night and Saturday.

Denver and other cities and communities along the Foothills and Eastern Slopes could have their first snow of the season.

Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.

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