Old Man Winter will be breaking down the door as the first snowstorm of the season is expected to be a whopper Wednesday night through Friday, with parts of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota staring down the potential of 1-2 feet of snow.
The newest snow predictions from the National Weather Service were released Wednesday afternoon and they are a doozy. The highest totals are forecast in east-central North Dakota, where up to 21 inches is predicted in New Rockford and Grafton, as high as 19 inches in Devils Lake and up to a foot and a half in Grand Forks.
In Minnesota, places like Thief River Falls, Hallock and Roseau could get well over a foot of heavy snow. You can see in the graphic below that there will be a sharp cutoff on the southeastern edge of the snow. As always, the sooner rain changes over to snow the more snow they'll get.
Freezing rain, accumulations up to a tenth of an inch, could cause slippery road conditions Wednesday night in the eastern Dakotas and far western Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes, Fargo, Fosston and Bemidji.
The highest snow totals are right in line with the Winter Storm Severity Index, which shows the worst expected impacts basically between Bismarck and Grand Forks.
That's also where winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings are in effect. Locations in the blizzard warning will be hit hard with heavy snow – 2 inches per hour in the heaviest bands – and winds gusting up to 55 mph. The worst conditions are expected Thursday PM into Friday morning.
Because of the intense snowfall rates, blizzard conditions are expected in towns, not just the open country, according to the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service.
Here's a look at the future radar simulation from the HRRR model, showing what could unfold from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon Friday.