Winter's Calling: Snow for the Northern Plains Today

By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
November 2, 2012; 5:00 AM ET
Share |

Winter is still several weeks away, but Mother Nature has a preview in store for the northern Plains.

Just days after rising into the 50s and 60s, snowflakes will fly across parts of North Dakota, northern Minnesota and the southern Canadian Prairie today and tonight.

There will even be enough snow to whiten the ground in many areas for a time.

For most seasoned residents, this will be nothing more than a nuisance snow typical of a weak, fast-moving "clipper system," though enough of the white stuff could fall to cause slick travel for a time.

A general swath of 1 to 2 inches is expected by early tonight across the northern and eastern part of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

A few locales in North Dakota could see totals reach 3 or 4 inches should the storm's full potential be realized.

Since temperatures will only be within a few degrees of freezing, snow could stick on road surfaces for a time, especially toward the beginning and end of the day, impacting some prime commute hours.

In addition, a potentially dangerous mix of sleet and freezing rain could accompany the snow across a narrow part of central North Dakota for a time.

Any amount of ice accretion can make for very hazardous driving conditions. Fortunately, if any ice does accumulate, it should melt in a rather short amount of time as temperatures increase.

This nuisance event will provide a nice primer to re-accustom area travelers to winter driving, a skill which will not go out of fashion until at least April in this part of the country.

Be sure to drive slowly in snow, especially heavy snow when visibilities can be reduced. Because of this, allow more space than normal between you and the vehicle in front of you.


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

More Weather News

  • France: Showers to Return Late This Week

    November 24, 2015; 8:32 PM ET

    While a pair of storm systems will pass to the north and south of France through late this week, the weather is expected to remain tranquil across the country on Thursday and Friday.

  • Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake Strikes Eastern Peru

    November 24, 2015; 8:25 PM ET

    A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck near the Peru-Brazil border region shortly before 6 p.m. local time Tuesday evening, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The temblor was initially recorded as a 6.9.

  • Sandra to Bring Flooding Risk to Northern Mexico

    November 24, 2015; 8:17 PM ET

    Tropical Storm Sandra, located hundreds of miles southwest of Mexico, is becoming better organized and will likely track northward through the rest of the week.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

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


This Day In Weather History

Baker, LA (1996)
Near Baker, a white Plymouth Voyager was onto a roof by a tornado. Then it rolled off the roof.

Florida (2002)
Early season cold snap. Temperatures fell to 30 degrees in Gainesville, 30 degrees in Ocala, 28 degrees in Tallahassee, and 27 degrees in Grestview.

Philadelphia, PA/ New York City (1812)
Southwesterly hurricane winds tore roofs off buildings and sank ships.

Rough Weather