• Your National Weather Service Forecast Offices in Bismarck and Grand Forks provide forecast and warning services for the state of North Dakota.
  • The National Weather Service communicates the potential for severe winter weather using thee tiers, first is the Hazardous Weather Outlook, followed by a Watch and then a Warning/Advisory.

    Product Type


    When Issued

    Hazardous Weather Outlook

    Designed to outline anticipated weather hazards for the next seven days and provide the first  heads up to any possible severe winter weather.

    At least once per day


    Issued when the confidence level for severe winter weather is at least 50% (uncertainty remains in exact timing and location of the storm). Normally issued 36-48 hours prior to the event


    Issued when there is a direct threat to life and property from severe winter weather that has a high probability of occurrence (80% or higher), or is imminent or occurring. Normally issued 12-24 hours prior to the event


    Issued for winter weather conditions that have a high probabilty of occurrence, are imminent or already occurring, that may cause an inconvenience. If precautions are NOT taken, a situation may develop that may threaten life. Normally issued 12-24 hours prior to the event

  • New for the Winter of  2012-2013, we are back to issuing our traditional Wind Chill Watch, Warning, or Advisory products... and we've had to cancel our experimental Extreme Cold Warnings.  However, if winds are diminishing and real temperatures are falling into that dangerously cold range, we may keep the Wind Chill Warning in effect a bit longer to cover any lingering threat. 
  • So what exactly is a blizzard, winter storm, ice storm, or dangerous wind chill?

    Product Type


    Blizzard Warning

    When sustained or frequent wind gusts of 35 mph or greater with visibilities of less than one quarter mile for at least three hours are expected.

    Winter Storm Warning

    When six inches of snow in 12 hours or 8 inches in 24 hours are expected and/or 1/2 inch of sleet accumulation (mixed precipitation and blowing snow may also be possible).

    Ice Storm Warning

    When 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation is expected.

    Wind Chill Warning

    When wind chill values of -40 F or less are expected.

  • Be sure to follow on Facebook the National Weather Service in Bismarck and Grand Forks this winter season!

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