, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Wind, Brutal Cold May Hinder Blazing Oil Train Cleanup

    By Kristen Rodman, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
    January 1, 2014; 5:03 AM ET
    Share |
    See larger image below.

    Around 2:10 p.m. CST Monday, a mile-long oil train derailed and caught fire near Casselton, N.D., according to Reuters.

    The train was transporting crude oil and as a result of the crash, some of the cars went ablaze and then exploded, sending plumes of smoke into the air.

    Due to the crude oil aboard the train, the fires will have to burn out on their own but winds late tonight and into tomorrow morning could further fuel the fires, instigate the smoke and inhibit cleanup afterwards.

    "Wind will blow smoke from the northwest to the southeast tonight and then north to south tomorrow," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

    While winds can shift direction, it is not likely that the smoke will make its way into Fargo.

    7 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter
    AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
    Detailed Fargo Weather

    However, a temperature inversion could develop late this evening, that would trap the smoke low to the ground.

    A temperature inversion happens when there is cold air at ground level and warm air above it. The warm air near the ground, the smoke in this instance, then tries to rise and hits the already warm ceiling and can not rise anymore. As a result, the smoke will be trapped low to the ground.

    This could cause low-lying smoke to remain in the areas surrounding the crash and as a result, increase health risks to anyone in the area.

    A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment Monday, Dec 30, 2013, in Casselton, N.D. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy)

    The small town about 25 miles due west of Fargo, N.D., has now been evacuated for precautionary measure, according to an Associated Press article.

    No injuries have yet been reported, but due to the thick smoke rising from the scene, residents in the surrounding areas have been advised to stay inside.

    The Red Cross chapter of the Dakotas announced Monday afternoon that it would open a shelter at the Discovery Middle School in Fargo for residents evacuating the area.

    The area's brutal cold could also foil cleanup efforts after the blaze burns out. Temperatures Monday night will plummet down to 20 plus degrees below zero.

    Frigid cold will not subside into the town until Friday, as temperatures are expected to stay below zero during the daytime hours through Thursday.

    Report a Typo


    Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

    More Weather News

    • 6 ways to prepare now for hurricanes

      October 1, 2016; 4:39 PM ET

      The worst thing that people who live along coastlines can do is not to prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes.

    Daily U.S. Extremes

    past 24 hours

      Extreme Location
    High N/A
    Low N/A
    Precip N/A

    Weather Whys®

    This Day In Weather History

    Valdez, Alaska (2004)
    Flooding and mudslides result in numerous road closures.

    Carolinas (1752)
    Second severe hurricane in two weeks struck the Carolinas -- destroyed Onslow, Co. Courthouse along with all its records. Beacon Island disappeared.

    Gulf States/ Carolinas (1837)
    H.M.S. Racer dismasted in Gulf of Mexico. Famous Racer's Hurricane swept from Texas through Gulf States to Cape Hatteras.

    Rough Weather