Precipitation, including snow and freezing rain, is likely to impact the state beginning late Saturday night, possibly lingering through Tuesday morning.

Today, the National Weather Service in Bismarck issued a winter storm watch for Sunday through Tuesday and warning of accumulations of as much as 7 to 14 inches of snow. Near blizzard conditions could result as winds gust up to 40 mph and travel will be hazardous.

Developing from a storm system over the Rocky Mountains and emerging onto the Northern Plains, snow is likely to start Saturday night, according to meteorologist Janine Vining, of the Bismarck National Weather Service.

The snow is likely to develop mainly in southwest and central North Dakota, with a mix of precipitation in the east, ranging from the James River Valley to Red River Valley, according to Vining.

"The worst of everything appears to be in the central and eastern part of the state," said Vining, adding that travel "could be quite messy." 

Temperatures could range from the upper 20s in the west to the mid-30s in central North Dakota.

"We do know that the best thing we are confident in is widespread precipitation," she said. "That's the most common thing, and probably getting into stronger winds."

Colder air on Monday will make for a fluffier snowfall as the storm exits, according to Vining, who said the precipitation could be "still lingering on Tuesday."

"We're looking at a mix of snow, freezing rain and rain on Sunday, and transitioning to probably more snow on Sunday night," Vining said. "That Red River Valley will probably be a mix of rain and snow, and by Monday it's looking like everything should be snow and probably a little bit of blowing snow."

While snow is likely to begin late Saturday, Bismarck could see a high around 40 degrees that day, with partly sunny skies and light winds, according to the NWS.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or