The National Weather Service put out an urgent message this afternoon saying the winter storm hitting the region tonight into Tuesday morning could drop a foot of snow - or more in spots - by later Monday and make travel hazardous beginning tonight.
That's much more of a storm than was predicted earlier. But in Park Rapids, only 4 to 7 inches are expected, said NWS meteorologist Jeff Makowskji. "No, it won't be 20 inches this time."
About 3 p.m. today, the weather service office in Grand Forks said a "significant winter storm will impact much of the Northern Plains tonight through early Tuesday." Makowski said a dry area slowed the storm's progression overnight.
A winter storm warming is in effect from 6 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Tuesday for most of the region.
Snow will move into eastern North Dakota by late evening today and become heavy overnight, making travel difficult.
The snow will intensify and move into northwest Minnesota early Monday.
Snow totals across most of eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota will be eight to 12 inches, with more in some sites. That area includes Grand Forks, Crookston, Devils Lake, Fargo and Valley City, N.D.
As of 3 p.m. today, the weather service's best estimate is that "the axis of heaviest snowfall is expected across the Cando and Devils Lake area to Grand Forks," down through Mayville and Fargo, moving southeast into central Minnesota.
Winds will be 10 to 25 mph from the south-southeast into Monday, turning to north winds later Monday. The falling snow and winds will combine to reduce road visibilities to a quarter-mile or less at times, making travel hazardous late tonight into Monday, especially in unsheltered areas, the weather service said.