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Darvis Helm

Darvis Helm, a custodian at Bismarck State College, sweeps snow from the entrance to the Armory building on Thursday as the sun shines through the snow blowing from the roof as gusts caused wind chills to reach minus-32 below zero. The dangerous winter weather has caused the college to cancel early morning classes until 10 a.m. today. 

Wind chills expected to be as low as 50 below on Friday morning have caused several school and public transportation delays.

Bismarck and Mandan public schools, Light of Christ Catholic Schools, Bismarck State College and the University of Mary will be operating on a two-hour delay on Friday.

Roy Rickert, executive director of Bis-Man Transit, said the CAT bus and paratransit services, as well as transit's administrative offices, will open at 10 a.m. Friday.

While the eastern portion of the state was pummeled with blizzard conditions Thursday, south central and western North Dakota was clear of snow. In Fargo, Grand Forks and surrounding areas, winds gusting as high as 40 mph caused whiteout conditions.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a no travel advisory for all of eastern North Dakota on Thursday. As of Thursday afternoon, several roads remained closed, including the eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 from Jamestown to Fargo and I-94 westbound lanes from Fargo to Valley City.

The National Weather Service also issued a statewide wind chill warning that will go into effect Thursday evening until noon Friday.

Adam Jones, a meteorologist with NWS Bismarck, said Friday morning wind chills across the state will be between 40- to 50-below zero, but winds will likely diminish throughout the day.

High temperatures on Friday will be anywhere from 10 below near the Turtle Mountains to 10 degrees across southwest North Dakota, Jones said.

No reprieve from cold is in sight, as next week extreme cold temperatures are expected to continue.

"The cold is going to stick around," Jones said. "On Monday, we might actually get above zero and we might stay just above zero for the week for high temperatures — maybe 5 to 10 degrees above zero. It could be worse, but still not as warm as we'd like."

Jones said there are slight chances of snow in Bismarck this weekend and next week, with a 50 percent chance of widespread "light" snow — an inch or so — on Monday afternoon and evening.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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Education and Health Reporter