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Arctic air mass covers the state

National Weather Service, Bismarck

Much of North Dakota is covered with wind chill warnings and advisories this week.

Arctic air will persist over North Dakota for the rest of the week, as wind chill advisories continue to be handed down from the National Weather Service.

Jason Anglin is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. He says the main hazard this week is wind that accompanies the arctic air mass. Winds will die down this afternoon, allowing some areas of the state to creep back up above zero. But later tonight it will return and dangerous wind chills will continue tonight, tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Anglin says while these conditions and temperatures are not typical for a North Dakota winter, they’re not unheard of. A windchill of -70 degrees was recorded in western North Dakota over the weekend. That, he says, is more rare.

"This is probably in the top ten percent of the coldest wind chills we've seen; we did adjust the wind chill chart not too long ago so it doesn't read as cold as it used to. But even with that, to see -70 is quite impressive. It's a testament to the air temperatures that weren't too cold, but the wind gusting over 30 miles per hour each day."

Anglin says for anyone traveling this week, it’s important to make sure vehicles are stocked with winter survival gear. He says in these conditions, frost bite can occur within minutes.