Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Blizzard
State NORTH DAKOTA
County/Area DUNN
WFO BIS
Begin Date 11/06/2008 04:00:00 CST-6
End Date 11/06/2008 18:00:00 CST-6
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 0.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative A significant and complex winter storm impacted much of western and central North Dakota beginning Wednesday, November 5th, and lasting into Friday, November 7th. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings were posted well in advance of the storm. Warning lead time averaged nearly 27 hours. The warnings encompassed the entire National Weather Service Bismarck County Warning Area, 36 counties, though not all counties had events or reached warning criteria. Counties in the Williston area and the Jamestown area were basically missed by the storm.

Blizzard conditions, or significant snow with near blizzard conditions, forced many schools and businesses to close and stranded travelers. Numerous roads were closed or no travel was advised due to the conditions. In addition, numerous power outages were reported across central North Dakota due to a wintry mix of rain, freezing rain, and sleet that fell Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, preceding the stronger winds and change over to heavy snow.

On November third and fourth, an open wave upper level trough moving east across the central Rocky Mountains became a closed upper level low pressure system, and triggered lee-side cyclogenisis across the high plains of Wyoming. By Wednesday morning and afternoon, November fifth, the surface low moved into central and eastern parts of South Dakota, with a TROWAL (trough of warm air aloft) feature developing across the northern plains, along with plenty of moisture advection from the Gulf of Mexico. Warm air advection ahead of the surface low wrapped around into western and central North Dakota, producing moderate to heavy rain Wednesday, setting daily rainfall records. An addition, scattered thunderstorms in east-central North Dakota prompted one severe thunderstorm warning and yielded a report of large hail in Stutsman County. Farther west, rain quickly changed over to all snow Wednesday evening as colder air was pulled into the system.

Moderate to heavy snow continued across western North Dakota Wednesday night into Thursday morning, coinciding with increasing northwesterly winds which produced widespread blizzard conditions over the southwest part of the state. A band of thundersleet developed early Thursday morning over central areas. Later Thursday morning the storm system's dry slot worked into the Bismarck area cutting off precipitation altogether, at least temporarily.

By daybreak Thursday morning, as the initial TROWAL feature was dissipating across western North Dakota, a secondary TROWAL developed over southern Alberta and advancing south into north central North Dakota. Colder air aloft had also advected across the entire area by mid morning Thursday. By early Thursday afternoon, this secondary TROWAL continued to advance south, producing a band of heavy snow which lasted through Thursday night, and finally decreased Friday morning.

Additionally, strong north to northwest winds accompanying the snow produced widespread blizzard conditions central, with blizzard conditions continuing southwest due to the strong winds and existing heavy snow cover.

Conditions slowly improved statewide Friday as areas of snow dissipated and the strong northwest winds diminished. Storm total snowfall ranged from one to three inches around Williston and Jamestown, to six to twelve inches southwest through central, to a maximum of twenty inches in McHenry County. The strong wind resulted in blowing and drifting snow and so amounts had to be estimated. Snow drifts were four to six feet deep.
Event Narrative Six to nine inches of total snowfall was reported by Thursday afternoon across Dunn County, with the heaviest snow amounts over central and eastern parts of the county. Marshall reported an estimated snowfall of nine inches. Sustained wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph, and gusts to near 55 mph, combined with the snow late Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon to create widespread and prolonged blizzard conditions. Roads were closed or no travel was advised due to these conditions.


All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 0 186.00K 0.00K
YPSILANTI STUTSMAN CO. ND 11/05/2008 15:30 CST-6 Hail 0.75 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BILLINGS (ZONE) BILLINGS (ZONE) ND 11/05/2008 21:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BOWMAN (ZONE) BOWMAN (ZONE) ND 11/05/2008 22:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ADAMS (ZONE) ADAMS (ZONE) ND 11/05/2008 22:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
HETTINGER (ZONE) HETTINGER (ZONE) ND 11/05/2008 23:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SLOPE (ZONE) SLOPE (ZONE) ND 11/05/2008 23:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MORTON (ZONE) MORTON (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 66.00K 0.00K
GRANT (ZONE) GRANT (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 20.00K 0.00K
STARK (ZONE) STARK (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DUNN (ZONE) DUNN (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 04:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MERCER (ZONE) MERCER (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 05:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
KIDDER (ZONE) KIDDER (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 06:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
WELLS (ZONE) WELLS (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 06:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
WARD (ZONE) WARD (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 08:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PIERCE (ZONE) PIERCE (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 08:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 30.00K 0.00K
MOUNTRAIL (ZONE) MOUNTRAIL (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 08:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
RENVILLE (ZONE) RENVILLE (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 08:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ROLLETTE (ZONE) ROLLETTE (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 08:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 20.00K 0.00K
OLIVER (ZONE) OLIVER (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 09:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MCHENRY (ZONE) MCHENRY (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 10:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FOSTER (ZONE) FOSTER (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 10:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BOTTINEAU (ZONE) BOTTINEAU (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 10:00 CST-6 Heavy Snow 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MCLEAN (ZONE) MCLEAN (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 16:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SHERIDAN (ZONE) SHERIDAN (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 16:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
KIDDER (ZONE) KIDDER (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
WELLS (ZONE) WELLS (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
EMMONS (ZONE) EMMONS (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SIOUX (ZONE) SIOUX (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 40.00K 0.00K
BURLEIGH (ZONE) BURLEIGH (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
LOGAN (ZONE) LOGAN (ZONE) ND 11/06/2008 18:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
Totals: 0 0 186.00K 0.00K