USA, Canada - Winter Storm March 5-6 - Central

6 Mar 2018

A large winter storm is bringing heavy snow to parts of the US Upper Midwest and south-central Canada as of March 5. The US National Weather Service (NWS) has issued blizzard and winter storm warnings for large portions of North and South Dakota, central Minnesota, eastern Montana, and northern Nebraska. Environment Canada has also issued winter storm and snowfall warnings for forecast areas in central and eastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. Both weather services will probably update the advisories as the system strengthens over the region through March 6. 

Widespread snowfall accumulations of 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) are likely, with localized areas receiving up to 46 cm (18 inches) where heavy snow bands develop. In addition to the likelihood of heavy snowfall, strong winds are forecast to develop late March 5-6 in far southwestern North Dakota, central South Dakota, and northern Nebraska. Winds gusting up to 88 kph (55 mph) will produce blizzard conditions, with reduced visibilities due to blowing and drifting snow. Sporadic power outages are likely. The wind and precipitation are forecast to diminish in intensity by the evening of March 6. 

Low visibility, slippery conditions, accidents, and snow-clearing operations will likely affect ground transport throughout the region. Disruptions are likely along the I-29, I-35, I-90, and I-94 corridors in the US; similar problems could occur on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as along provincial roadways. Expect difficult and potentially dangerous driving conditions on secondary and rural roadways in the affected area, as maintenance crews will prioritize clearing interstates and highways. Strong winds will pose a hazard to high-profile vehicles. Authorities could close sections of roadway throughout the affected area if conditions warrant. 

Flight disruptions due to ground stops and deicing operations will probably occur at regional airports, including those serving Bismarck (BIS), Duluth (DHL), Fargo (FAR), Grand Forks (GFK), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Minot (MOT), Rapid City (RAP), Regina (YQR), Saskatoon (YXE), and Winnipeg (YWG). 

Further assistance

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