Holiday travelers urged to keep an eye on the forecast

Holiday travelers may need to alter plans.

By COLE BENZ
Herald Editor

Editor’s Note:

This interview was conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Holiday travelers may need to alter plans.

For the past week, weather reports have forecasted a large storm system that could hit North Dakota beginning Christmas Day and continuing into Monday, Dec. 26.

“It is possible that the northern plains could be impacted by a significant winter storm on Christmas Day, into Monday,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist John Paul Martin said. “At this point [Tuesday] snow is in the forecast for Christmas Day and Monday for North Dakota.”

Though snow is expected, Martin said the amount, and where it might fall the hardest is undetermined right now.

“There will be snow in North Dakota, we’re not confident on how much,” he said.

He said that an area will get a significant storm, but at this point couldn’t determine if it would be north in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, or over North Dakota and Minnesota, or places of South Dakota and Southern Minnesota, it’s really too early.

But regardless of how much, travelers will see an impact.

“I’m confident there will be snow, any snow will have an impact on travelers,” he said. “The questions is how big of an impact, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

So if you are traveling, Martin said that those plans may need to be adjusted accordingly.

“If you have travel plans not only do you need to watch the forecast but you need to be ready to alter those plans,” he said.

Martin added that Friday and Saturday the forecast is expected to be clear, but there may be harsher weather in store for the area on Sunday and Monday. If there is snow, Martin said it might start at daybreak on Sunday morning.

The system has slowed down some, Martin said. Some of the earliest reports had the storm hitting the area as early as Saturday night, but the National Weather Service has pushed that back to the early hours of Sunday morning.

The important thing is to just be informed with up-to-date information.

“I think the key is you just need to everyday listen to the forecast, and expect that the forecast is going to change,” Martin said.

Martin also said be aware of what you read on social media, and make sure they forecasts are from verified sources. Anyone inquiring forecast information can visit the National Weather Service’s website for Bismarck at www.Weather.gov/bis. From there you can route to other stations in the state, Martin said.

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