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Late-winter storm affecting travel in Dakotas

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm •  Published: March 18, 2013

The storm occurred a few days ahead of the next NWS outlook for spring flooding, due out Thursday. Hydrologist Mike Lukes told The Associated Press that the additional moisture could increase the risk for flooding in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

"We're sitting somewhere between 3, 4, 5, 6 inches of water in the snow already," he said. "Additional (moisture) will add to it, but as far as (the flood risk) going up significantly higher, that probably isn't in the cards."

Lukes estimated the new snow in the southern Red River Valley contained about half an inch of water, and the snow in the northern valley about 3- to 4-tenths of an inch.

This system continues a pattern of winter weather in the area, as Fargo saw several inches of snow Friday. It also was preceded by record cold. The temperature at Grand Forks dropped to minus 18 degrees on Saturday and minus 23 degrees on Sunday — both city records for those dates.