Due to reduced visibility, a travel alert remains in effect across the eastern edge of the state, including in the cities of Grand Forks, Larimore and Hillsboro.
A travel alert means that motorists may run into areas of “challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways,” according to the statement.
If conditions worsen, the alert may return to a no-travel advisory.
Earlier on Monday morning, high wind and blowing and drifting snow created near-zero visibility and caused dangerous travel conditions across the region.
A no-travel advisory means conditions are such that motorists should not travel in the affected area, according to the release.
Outside Grand Forks’ city limits, a blizzard is underway, said Amanda Lee, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. Those in the area should brace for blizzard conditions “in any direction” outside city limits, she said.
The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a snow storm with at least 35-mph winds and visibility of a quarter-mile or less.
“Out in the open country, it’s pretty bad,” she said. “You head outside of town where you don’t have the shelter of buildings and things like that, the wind is going to feel stronger and reduce your visibility more than if you were driving down DeMers.”
North of Hillsboro, N.D., the blizzard warning is expected to expire at noon Monday, Lee said. For the southern part of the valley, the warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m.
“Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous,” the weather service said in its blizzard warning. “Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you.”
Along with snow and wind, the region is experiencing bitter cold and dangerous wind chill. Monday’s high is predicted to be minus 9, with wind chills reaching minus 40.
The blizzard warning is in effect until noon Monday. A wind chill warning is in effect until noon Tuesday.