Wintry conditions descended upon North Dakota on Monday morning after a fairly mild November.
Meteorologist Alex Edwards, of the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said the winter storm fell shy of a blizzard, dropping 1.5 inches of snow by noon, with winds gusting to 51 mph at 2 p.m. Visibility fell to under a mile at one point, he said.
“We fully transitioned into our colder, more winterlike pattern, that’s for sure,” Edwards said.
Highs this week are likely to stay in the 20s and 30s, he also said, with some light snow expected, too. No high-impact snowstorms are immediately ahead, but some clippers from the north are in the forecast, bringing small spurts of snowfall but staying fairly dry, he said.
Snowy and icy conditions also brought a bump in crashes throughout the metro.
Bismarck Police Lt. Jeff Solemsaas said police responded to 28 collisions from 6:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Monday throughout Bismarck. On average, police respond to 10 crashes a day in Bismarck.
Across the river, Mandan Police Lt. Pat Haug said officers responded to 11 crashes by 5 p.m. Monday, more than the average in Mandan where some days see zero collisions.
"During the winter, it’s a little bit different with road conditions," Haug said.
In wintry conditions, Solemsaas said drivers should follow seasonal driving tips, such as anticipating a longer travel time, increasing their following distance and driving slower.
Around the state, other winter conditions hit, including a blizzard in eastern North Dakota and the Red River Valley, as well as a wind advisory from far northern to southwestern North Dakota, according to NWS forecasts.
A no travel advisory went out Monday afternoon for a large area from south central to northeastern North Dakota impacting the Ellendale, Jamestown, Valley City, Grand Forks and Grafton areas.
North Dakota Highway Patrol attributed at least one crash from Monday to icy road conditions.
Four passengers were taken to a Dickinson hospital with minor injuries after their vehicle lost control at 5 a.m. Monday on icy Interstate 94 just west of Richardton. Everyone was reportedly wearing their seat belts. The vehicle’s five occupants were all from Minot or Minot Air Force Base.