The winter storm that blew through North Dakota Sunday afternoon through Monday morning dropped anywhere from a foot of snow near Fort Union in northwest North Dakota to just an inch along the central North Dakota-South Dakota border.
The storm brings with it more subzero temperatures that will stick around throughout the week, the coldest being Wednesday night into Thursday with temperatures into the teens and 20s below zero and wind chills from 30 to 40 below zero.
“The main story is going to be the cold weather,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Janine Vining. "It’s going to be dangerously cold most of the week.”
Vining said she anticipates wind chill advisories will be issued Wednesday night and Thursday. A push of arctic air with winds up to 20 mph will cause wind chills to reach as low as 50 below zero.
There is some relief in sight this weekend with temperatures moving to near or above zero, Vining said.
“But it’s still going to feel like winter,” she said.
In addition to the cold, additional rounds of light snow are expected this week, with potential accumulations of 1 to 3 inches.
Bismarck police warn motorists not to leave vehicles running, unlocked and unattended. Early Friday morning, between 5:30 and 6, a guest at a Bismarck hotel left a $26,000 rental vehicle running in order to warm it up, only to have it disappear. Police found the vehicle in a parking lot three blocks from the hotel. The keys were missing, but all the property remained.
The Bismarck-Mandan area saw about 4 inches of new snow Sunday night into Monday morning. The Bismarck Fire Department is asking residents for help in keeping hydrants clear of snow and accessible as part of its “Adopt a Hydrant” program. The department notes there are more than 4,000 hydrants in Bismarck and with a little extra time and effort from residents, firefighters will have the space they need to attach hoses and turn on water in care of a fire.
Bismarck Fire Marshal Owen Fitzsimmons said snow should be cleared to the ground 3 to 4 feet around the hydrant with a clear path to the street.
Bismarck street cleaning crews are concentrating their efforts on Bismarck’s downtown Wednesday and Thursday from midnight to 7 a.m. The city asks that vehicles be moved off the street and kept off as indicated by street signs. Police will tow any vehicles parked downtown during this time. Downtown businesses, along signed street cleaning areas, that have not already been cleaned, should have their sidewalks cleared before midnight on their designated day. Crews will clean north-south streets and alleys on Wednesday and east-west streets on Thursday.
The Tokach Angus Ranch, located about 4 miles east of St. Anthony, is being kept busy by the snow and frigid temperatures as it enters calving season. Expectations are for about 600 calves with most arriving in February and early March, but they’ll keep coming until May.
“It’s all hands on deck,” says owner-operator Richard Tokach. “We’ve been pushing a lot of snow and bringing the cattle into our heated cattle barn for about 24 hours. Once we’ve got them warmed up and dry we move them out to the sheds which act as windbreaks. The cattle are pretty tough once they’re dry.”
Nearly a week ago, the Bis-Man Transit Authority closed its operations due to extremely cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills. Bus and paratransit provide about 1,000 rides per day. But this week's winter blast had little effect on Bis-Man Transit and riders were able to reach their destinations.