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Winter storm hits the region with heavy snow accumulation

(WDAY/WDAZ) After a week of build-up, a major March storm has finally arrived in the Dakotas and Minnesota. The biggest forecast challenge with this storm is the temperatures, which are likely to vary within a few degrees of 32 much of the day Monday. If it is cold enough, heavy snow accumulation is likely. Places that remain a few degrees too warm will experience lighter and more slushy accumulations. A period of sleet or freezing rain is also possible for some parts of the area.

The heaviest accumulation of 6-12 inches or more is likely through central and eastern North Dakota west of the Red River Valley. Warmer air in the Valley is likely to limit amounts. More than 6 inches is likely in the northern Valley with 3-6 inches south. A lot of this accumulation is likely to happen during the day Monday into Monday evening and specific amounts are likely to vary from this image.

Wind is not likely to be a major factor in over most if North Dakota and western Minnesota. However, blizzard-force wind is expected from southwest North Dakota through central South Dakota where a Blizzard Warning has been issued.

Rain and thundershowers Sunday night will gradually mix with and change to snow late Sunday night into Monday. a period of sleet or freezing rain will be possible during the transition. Be prepared for heavy, wet, slushy snow which will make travel difficult or even impossible in some areas Monday.

Conditions are expected to improve Tuesday. However, temperatures will likely remain below freezing all week.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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