Snowstorm Takes Aim at North Dakota, Minnesota

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
October 04, 2012; 11:45 AM
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Over a half foot of snow (15 centimeters) is expected in parts of North Dakota, Minnesota and neighboring Canada Thursday. Image by Twitter user @EasyMac_16

After an unusually warm winter last season, the 2012-2013 winter has started with a bang across portions of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest as a powerful snowstorm unleashed shape.

Moderate to heavy snow spread from northeastern North Dakota into northwestern Minnesota early Thursday, while winds above 40 mph whipped across the region.

RELATED: Photos of the October Snowstorm in Minnesota, North Dakota

Storm reports from early Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012:

1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday: Snow is winding down across northeastern North Dakota, but still going strong from Bemidji to Warroad, Minn.

11:51 a.m. EDT Thursday: We added more photos to our snowstorm story.

11:00 a.m. EDT Thursday: Heavy snow is thumping from Crookston to Roseau, Minn., with visibility dropping as low as a quarter of a mile. Snow has also reached Winnipeg, Manitoba. Click here for Canada radar.

9:49 a.m. EDT Thursday: Carrington, N.D., has received 2.0 inches of snow.

9:35 a.m. EDT Thursday: Photos of the snowstorm

8:45 a.m. EDT Thursday: One tree snapped and several large branches have fallen under the weight of 3.5 inches of snow in Grand Forks, N.D. Trees are still bearing leaves in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, so this may be a problem in other areas today.

7:51 a.m. EDT Thursday: Argyle, Minn. has received 2.2 inches of snow thus far.

7:36 a.m. EDT Thursday: "The heaviest snow band is running from north of Fargo through Grand Forks, N.D. to Karlstad, MN. Rates generally 1/2 to 1" per hour," tweeted AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.

7:18 a.m. EDT Thursday: Estimates of 2.5 to 3.0 inches of snow so far this morning in Lankin, N.D.

7:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: Snow is becoming heavier in Fargo, N.D., reducing the visibility to 3/4 of a mile. The highest wind gust measured so far this morning in Fargo was 47 mph.

5:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: A swath of moderate to heavy snow extends from eastern North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota. Temperatures near freezing with wind gusts to 40 mph.

3:10 a.m. EDT Thursday: Cold air is wrapping around the strengthening storm. Now snowing in Aberdeen, S.D., while still raining in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

2:45 a.m. EDT Thursday: Radar lighting up just north of Grand Forks, N.D., as a low deepens. Some of the yellows and oranges on radar are an indication of "bright-banding" which occurs when it is sleeting above the ground. Therefore, although it is still raining in many places, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a wind-whipped snow!

1:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: Rain is expected to change to snow across eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota in the next several hours. The snow can be heavy at times. Gusty winds in excess of 40-mph can also cause blowing an drifting.

1 a.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 4: The temperature in Denver is now 38 degrees after a high of 83 earlier Wednesday afternoon! The precipitous plunge included a drop of 18 degrees in 1 hour and 5 degrees in 5 minutes!

Wednesday, Oct. 3: The strengthening storm dumped 2.3 inches of snow on Billings, Mont., setting an new record snowfall for the date.

Follow @breakingweather on Twitter for updates:

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