A powerful winter storm is bearing down on the Red River Valley today. The storm is fueled by a strong temperature variation in temperature across North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada. Southerly winds ahead of the storm brought warm air into the valley with Grand Forks reaching a high temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain started as the sun set on Thursday afternoon but changed over to freezing rain as the temperatures cooled overnight. The cold air pushed through the northern part of the valley in the early morning hours and the winds switched from south to north at 4 am Friday morning. We are expecting 4 to 6 inches of snow this Friday afternoon into the evening as the main energy of the storm enters North Dakota from the southwest. A 150 knot jet stream is forecasted to intensify the surface low pressure system throughout the afternoon and evening. A strong pressure gradient across eastern North Dakota will cause surface winds to increase to between 30 and 40 mph causing near zero visibilities overnight and into Saturday morning.