The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities has issued a Winter Storm Watch for much of Minnesota as a storm bringing measurable snowfall and high winds makes its way across the Upper Midwest.
The storm, which could bring snowfall amounts of 3 to 7 inches in Wright County – with heavier amounts closer to the Blaine and Stillwater area – should arrive Wednesday night and linger into midday Thursday, according to meteorologists.
While the snowfall would be the most the area’s seen this winter, it’s the high winds that will follow that could make travel treacherous for the Thursday afternoon commute. Gusts up to 40 mph could be seen in rural Wright County.
Here’s the complete Winter Storm Watch from the NWS:
Winter Storm Watch
A band of mixed wintry precipitation is expected to push into western Minnesota Wednesday evening while a band of rain and snow develops late Wednesday night further east from south central Minnesota to northwest Wisconsin. The precipitation is expected to change to all snow, some of which may be heavy at times Wednesday night through Thursday morning. A thin glazing of ice to a couple hundredths of ice accretion is possible in advance of the change to snow. A narrow swath of up to 7 inches is possible somewhere from the New Ulm/Mankato areas northeast to east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Outside of this narrow corridor, 2 to 4 inches are expected by Thursday afternoon. Strong northwest winds will develop late Wednesday night and continue through Thursday. The strongest winds will be found from west central to south central Minnesota where winds could gust to 40 mph. This will result in widespread blowing snow and possible whiteout conditions. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect late Wednesday night through Thursday across all of central and southern Minnesota into west central Wisconsin. * WHAT...Blizzard conditions possible. Travel could be very difficult to impossible, including during the morning commute on Thursday. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze are possible. * WHERE...Portions of central, south central, southwest and west central Minnesota. * WHEN...From late Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Winds gusting as high as 40 mph could cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant drifting of the snow is also possible. Cold wind chills as low as 25 below zero will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Winter Storm Watch for blizzard conditions means there is a potential for falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities. This can lead to whiteout conditions and make travel very dangerous.