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Blizzard warnings issued ahead of weekend snowstorm

The blizzard warning includes Dakota, Scott and Carver counties.

Blizzard warnings have been issued across southern Minnesota ahead of a weekend storm that is expected to mix heavy snow and high winds.

Carver, Scott and Dakota counties in the southern Twin Cities metro are among the counties included in the warning, but it does not include Minneapolis-St. Paul. 

Others include Sibley, Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Lac Qui Parle, Meeker, Yellow Medicine, Watonwan, Blue Earth and Martin counties in western and southern Minnesota.

The warning is in effect starting Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon, and here's what the National Weather Service says you can expect:

"Within the Blizzard Warning, snow accumulations will range from 2 to 4 inches near the South Dakota border to 6 to 8 inches along Interstate 35. The snow is expected from late Saturday afternoon through the early morning hours Sunday, followed by strong winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to near 50 mph for most of the day Sunday. This could lead to whiteout conditions, making travel very difficult or impossible in the open areas of western, central, and southern Minnesota."

Here's a look at the affected area, 

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 4.12.39 PM

A winter storm warning meanwhile has been issued for Goodhue County in Minnesota and several counties in western Wisconsin, where snow accumulations of between 6-9 inches are expected, with some localized higher amounts.

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 4.31.05 PM

This in turn will be followed by 20-30 mph winds with 40 mph gusts on Sunday.

As for the Twin Cities area, anywhere from 2-6 inches of snow is currently forecast between Friday night and Sunday afternoon, with the higher amounts to the south/east sides of the metro. 

Here's the American model's (GFS) simulated future radar from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Sunday. It shows Rochester in the middle of a narrow band of very heavy snow as the main part of the storm moves through Saturday night into Sunday morning. 

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_ncus_fh6-54 (1)

Remember, the storm track could change between now and Saturday night, so pay attention to forecast changes as to where the heaviest snow is expected to fall. 

Regardless, this weekend might be a good one to hunker down and wait out the storm if you live in southern Minnesota. 

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