Meteorologists from Grand Forks and Bismarck joined forces Friday to get the word out on a winter storm that could bring as much as 7 to 14 inches of snow through Tuesday.
In a statewide conference call, Patrick Ayd, of Bismarck, and Vince Godon, of Grand Forks, warned of near-blizzard conditions that could be life-threatening to newborn livestock as many cattle producers are delving into calving season.
North Dakota Stockmen's Association Executive Director Julie Ellingson said predicted weather conditions, should they come true, are extreme and ranchers have been preparing, moving cows and calves closer to shelter.
She said a lot of calves are born in North Dakota in the month of March. Large snowfall and drifting can make it difficult for ranchers to reach animals with feed or to help cows with a difficult birth. There is also greater risk of calves being buried in the snow or trampled when the herd huddles.
With up to 40 mph gusts in some areas, travel is likely to be impacted with visibilities expected to be less than a half mile, raising questions as sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students from around the state are slated to meet for the North Dakota MathCounts state competition at the Ramkota on Third Street in Bismarck on Monday.
The weather event will "start with rain, freezing rain and sleet, then switch to snow," Godon said.
The timing for snow will be dependent on how quickly warmer temperatures begin dropping Sunday night to a low of 15 degrees.
"That warm air is going to be hanging around awhile," Ayd said.