11/25/14: Snow

One of the stronger clippers of the season was located along the Saskatchewan / Montana border at 8:00 AM this morning moving southeast.

8:00 AM Surface Analysis

There was already some snow in northwestern North Dakota at that time with visibility at or below 1 mile in some locations.   That snow is projected to move to the southeast during the course of the day with the wind picking up on the back side of the system.   Meaning, the wind will pick up approximately when the snow ends.

8:48 AM Radar


The clipper is progged to be near Mobridge South Dakota at 6:00 PM this evening then continue to move to the southeast and be near the Iowa / Missouri by 9:00 AM on Wednesday morning.

6:00 PM Tuesday Surface Prog

With the low situated well to our southeast by Wednesday morning, the snowfall associated with this clipper will be impacting central and western North Dakota today and this evening and the Red River Valley this evening and overnight.

Wednesday @ 9:00 AM Prog


With clippers the main snow band is almost always along and just north of the track of the low pressure center.  That would mean with the progged track the main snow band would be from near Williston, to Bismarck to Aberdeen and then just north (or east) of that line.  Certainly other areas can and will record some snow fall, but with clipper the main band, often in the 1-3 inch range is in a fairly narrow 50-75 mile wide band with the typical pockets of slightly higher totals.  Below is a depiction of the NAM (North American Model) depiction of snow totals from this event.   It is given not to represent what will exactly happen but rather an approximation.


48 Hour Snow Totals from the NAM Model

The wind will pick up on the back side of the snow and create areas of blowing and drifting snow.  Wednesday is expected to be dry, just blustery, especially in the areas that record any amount of snow from the clipper.  Northeastern North Dakota will likely record the least amount of precipitation from this event.

Beyond this clipper, there is still the expectation of more light snow on Thanksgiving evening into early Friday morning.  At this time it appears the higher snow totals from this next clipper will be along and north of Highway 200, or the northern one-half of North Dakota into the northern one-third of Minnesota.  Yet another clipper is expected this weekend on Saturday or Saturday night.  All of these systems have the potential for travel problems.   Even locations that record snow under 1 inch will find travel difficulties so of course you do not need to be in the main band of snow for slippery roads.

Each of this “clippers” will bring some wind and cooler temperatures behind the low, yet, before each low approaches the temperatures will warm up.  This will lead to quickly fluctuating temperatures and wind, with periods of snow for the next several days with temperatures remaining below seasonal normals.

Daryl Ritchison