THURSDAY P.M. UPDATE
The majority of Minnesota is now included in the winter storm warning, although the National Weather Service has adjusted the expected snowfall total maps, now offering slightly lower predictions. Below you'll see the expected total and an expected range for specific locations in Minnesota.
Original story 12 p.m.
Mother Nature is locked and loaded, ready to bring a healthy layer of snow to the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota on Friday and Saturday. With that, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning.
For the 7-county metro area, the warning is in effect from 12 p.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Saturday, with up to 10 inches of snow currently forecast with blustery conditions making for difficult travel.
This from the winter storm warning text:
"Moderate to heavy snow will develop across western Minnesota Friday morning and move through eastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin early Friday afternoon and continue through Friday evening. Most of the snow will fall late Friday morning into Friday evening. Currently, 5 to 9 inches of snow is expected across much of central and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
"Snow will taper off Friday night, but on Saturday northwest winds will increase and lead to significant blowing and drifting snow. In addition, falling temperatures will lead to icy roads. Farther west, blizzard conditions are possible in open areas of western into southern Minnesota. If the forecast winds of 40 to 45 mph remain on track, an upgrade to a blizzard warning is likely for Saturday across western and southern Minnesota."
The warning goes into effect at 8 a.m. Friday for parts of west-central, southwest and south-central Minnesota, where 4-7 inches of snow is forecast. Winds gusting to 45 mph could create blizzard conditions on Saturday.
It's likely that more counties will be added to the winter storm warning in the coming hours.
Here's the latest NAM 3KM computer model, showing the snow moving into southern Minnesota Friday morning and moving north and east as the day progresses, finally exiting the area by midday Saturday.
Timing for the heaviest snow is noted by the black brackets in this graphic from the National Weather Service.