Winter’s grip is set to take hold of the Williston area this weekend.
The National Weather Service in Bismarck has put out a Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for northwest and north central North Dakota, saying snow could begin on Thursday night. A blizzard warning has also been issued for Montana.
“It looks like its all going to start late (Wednesday night) into Thursday,” said Jim Assid, National Weather Service Meteorologist in Williston. “We’ve got a 30 percent chance of a mix of rain and snow.”
The storm is predicted to drop three to five inches of snow around town, while areas north of Highway 2 could see up to a foot of snow.
The National Weather Service predicts that the storm will reach the area tonight, with a slight chance of rain before 3 a.m. Thursday. Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., there is a slight chance of rain and sleet, and a slight chance of snow and sleet after 4 a.m.
During the day Thursday, there will be a chance of rain before 1 p.m. with a high temperature close to 34. Between 1 and 5 p.m. there is a chance for a mix of rain and snow, with the snow predicted to start after 5.
The National Weather Service says there could be less than a half inch of snow accumulation possible Thursday.
The chance of snow great increases to 70 percent Thursday night as the temperature drops to close to 25 degrees.
“It all really kicks off Friday with the Winter Storm Watch,” said Assid.
With a high near 29 Friday, there will be a 80 percent chance of snow.
The same for Friday night where the low will be around 21.
Saturday will see more of the same, before the temperature drops Saturday night to around 5 degrees.
The snow will leave the area on Sunday, but the temperatures will remain very cold, reaching a high of around 13 degrees.
Assid said people in the area need to take some precautions during the storm.
“Hunting season starts Friday, so there will be a lot of people on the roads, plus with the extended weekend,” said Assid. “Some of the things you should aware of is a full tank of gas; you should really keep the tank as full as you possibly can. You should also make sure you have a safety kit in the vehicle.”
Temperatures are expected to remain cold, at least through Wednesday.