Above is an image from the NWS radar site at Bismarck, ND, which has the new "dual-polarization" technology on board (for more on that, see this post from earlier in the year).
The light blue shading shows the radar's depiction of snow, but we get a little more detail than that thanks to the new dual pol technology. As you can see on the scale to the left side of the image (blown-up below), that shade of blue corresponds with "DS", which stands for Dry Snow, meaning that the radar is detecting smaller, dry or powdery snowflakes. The term "WS" (right above DS), stands for Wet Snow, which would indicate larger snowflakes with higher moisture content.
This should allow us to be more precise in estimating the intensity of wintry precipitation across the country this upcoming season.
Surface reports indicate that snow is beginning to accumulate across portions of western North Dakota. So far, we've received reports of 2.0 inches at Billings and Slope, 3.0 inches 1 mile East of Dickinson and 3.5 inches to the East/Northeast of Grassy Butte.
A recent shot from KQCD's tower camera in Dickinson shows rooftops and even some parts of the ground are becoming covered in white:
Up to 4-6 inches of snow is forecast tonight in a band from west-central through central North Dakota, including the Dickinson and Jamestown areas, as well as across a large area between Bismarck and Minot.
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