Timothy Lynch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, described the storm as a “ground blizzard-type scenario.” These kinds of blizzards, which include little or no snowfall, happen when an Arctic cold front moves through the area, according to the weather service’s website.
There was no precipitation from sunrise on Monday through the afternoon in the Grand Forks area, but about an inch of snow had fallen the night before, according to Lynch.
The Herald named the blizzard after former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Rep. Bob Bergland, who represented Minnesota’s 7th District. Bergland died in December.
The Herald has been naming blizzards for nearly three decades. The paper traditionally names storms after people who have made impacts on the area.
Monday’s storm whipped fallen snow through the region and reduced visibility down to a quarter-mile in some areas, said weather service meteorologist Amanda Lee. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm with at least 35-mph winds and visibility of a quarter-mile or less.
Conditions were worse in areas outside Grand Forks’ city limits, Lee said.
“You head outside of town where you don’t have the shelter of buildings and things like that, and the wind is going to feel stronger and reduce your visibility more than if you were driving down DeMers,” she said.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol on Monday issued and later lifted a no-travel advisory for all of Interstate 29 in the state. Due to reduced visibility, a travel alert remained in effect across the eastern edge of the state, including in Grand Forks, Larimore and Hillsboro.
A travel alert means that motorists may run into areas of “challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways,” according to a statement issued by the two agencies.
The weather service’s blizzard warning expired at noon on Monday, while another wind chill warning will remain in effect until noon Tuesday.