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Published February 19, 2013, 09:48 AM

North Dakota heads back into deep freeze

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After a few days of above-average temperatures, North Dakotans have been slapped back into a deep freeze — and they'll be stuck there the rest of the week.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After a few days of above-average temperatures, North Dakotans have been slapped back into a deep freeze — and they'll be stuck there the rest of the week.

In Bismarck, high temperatures hit 38 on Saturday and 45 Sunday. By Tuesday morning, the low was 11-below.

Wednesday's high could creep up to 13 degrees. Winter weather advisories were expected to continue in much of east-central North Dakota and northern Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.

"It'll be raw," meteorologist Jim Kaiser told The Forum.

The weather caused travel chaos Monday and Tuesday as strong winds and snow cut visibility to a quarter-mile in some areas. Two people died Monday in a four-vehicle crash near Barnesville, Minn.

In North Dakota, I-94 was closed for about five hours Monday after a series of crashes led to a 10-vehicle pileup. Police officials say one wreck was caused by a motorist who drove around road closures to get onto the interstate.

Another crash in Minnesota was caused by a driver trying to squeeze between a semi and a snowplow. Wind gusts peaked at 57 mph near East Grand Forks, Minn., and Buxton, N.D., and topped out at 49 mph at the Fargo airport.

The whiteout conditions are expected to subside, but meteorologist Ken Simosko said the weather is entering a more "active" and unsettled pattern, making it tough to forecast snowfall and storms.

"That one remains a little elusive," he told the Bismarck Tribune.

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