A serious winter storm targeted the northern Plains Monday, threatening to dump nearly 3 feet of snow in some areas and promising to snarl traffic for several days.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple order the emergency evacuation of people camping on federal property without adequate shelter as severe winter weather conditions moved in.
Heavy snow, high winds and cold are forecast for the northern Plains. As much as 10 inches of snow are expected, Accuweather.com reported, with snow showers lingering into midweek and winds gusting to 60 mph.
The evacuation order applies to those camping on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, which is not zoned for winterized dwellings. Once the dangerous weather hits, it would be difficult for emergency responders and other emergency services to get into the area, KVLY, Fargo, reported.
The storm is moving east from the Rockies. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warning and advisories for parts of the mountain West and northern Plains. The storm is expected to produce hazardous travel conditions and poor visibility.
The storm dumped 24 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevadas near Lake Tahoe, California, during the weekend.
As much as 30 inches of snow was expected in northern Utah as weather warnings were issued for the Wasatch Mountains, the Western Uinta Mountains, Book Cliffs and Wasatch Plateau as well as the central and southern mountains, the Associated Press reported.
Icy conditions snarled the morning commute in Salt Lake City and elsewhere, triggering a series of accidents, none serious, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Utah Avalanche Center warned of a high risk of backcountry slides
In eastern Idaho, State Police urged drivers to use caution as 16 inches of snow were predicted for higher elevations, with 11 inches expected for other areas. Parts of Wyoming were expected to receive as much as 5 inches of snow, with 16 inches predicted for higher elevations. Forty-five mph winds blew into Monday evening, East Idaho News reported.