Two winter storms are coming in that could bury large portions of North Dakota in 2 feet of snow or more.

Williston will miss the worst of the predicted storms, but is still likely to get between 3 to 5 inches in the first storm, and an unknown, lesser amount in the second.

Forecasters predicted the first storm will begin to move in on the Williston area in the afternoon sometime after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Wind gusts are predicted to range up to 35 mph. That will reduce visibility considerably during the storm, but blizzard conditions — visibility under one-quarter of a mile for three hours or more — are not expected.

The second storm is forecast to begin Friday in the Williston area. There is likely to be some snow with that storm as well, but much less than other areas of the state, where 12 inches of snow or more are predicted.

“The brunt should stay east for both storms,” said Bismarck National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Schild. “Anyone planning to travel east, it may become quite difficult, so check the latest road reports and weather conditions before you start any travel.”

Temperatures will be 30 degrees or so below the normal high, which is 61 degrees. The unseasonably cold temperatures will continue through the weekend, after which there will be a gradual warming trend.

“By the time we hit early next week, we could be pushing into the 40s,” Schild said. “Part of that will be how quickly does the snow you do receive melt. The snow on the ground will keep temperatures down a bit.”

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