Blizzard and winter storm warnings issued as next snowstorm takes aim at Minnesota

The bulk of the snow will fall Thursday.
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UPDATE 3:15 P.M.

Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of Minnesota, including a winter storm warning for Washington and Dakota counties in the Twin Cities metro area. 

Areas within the winter storm warning are forecast to receive 6-8 inches of snow by Thursday night. Minneapolis remains in a winter weather advisory, with 2-5 inches of snow expected, according to the weather service. The highest totals are expected in northern Minnesota. 

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Here's the official warning description from the National Weather Service. 

"This winter storm will come in three parts. The first part will develop this evening with occasional light snow, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle in southern and east central Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin. Most areas will only receive up to 1 to 3 inches of snow overnight. 

The second part will come Thursday morning as the main storm moves out of the Plains, and into the Upper Midwest. This is where the bulk of the heavy snow will occur, especially in south central and east central Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin. 

The third part will come Thursday afternoon as strong northwest winds develop, and blizzard conditions will develop in parts of west central, southwest, and south central Minnesota."

Here's a look at a simulated future radar, which shows a band of heavy snow moving through the metro sometime after 7 p.m., followed by a lull before more snow develops Thursday morning. 

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Meanwhile, blizzard conditions are expected in western, southwest and south-central Minnesota, including the cities Marshall and Mankato, as winds gusting up to 50 mph will cause whiteout conditions and dangerous travel. 

"Even though Owatonna, Albert Lea and Waseca are not in the blizzard warning currently, these areas will likely experience significant blowing snow Thursday afternoon and evening," says the NWS forecast discussion

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"Be aware even if you are not in a blizzard warning, there will be times of white out conditions by Thursday afternoon."

Another issue with this storm system is freezing drizzle that the NWS expects to fall overnight in south-central and southeast Minnesota. It could create extremely difficult travel conditions tonight into Thursday morning. 

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As we know all too well from recent storms, including the one on Tuesday, the storm's track can change between now and when the bulk of the snow arrives Thursday. A slight change could reduce or increase snowfall totals, so stay tuned for possible forecast changes. 

Original story

Minnesotans will be able to put their shovels and snowblowers away for about a day before waking up to another healthy dose of snow on Thursday morning. 

"Widespread snow quickly returns late this afternoon, with the bulk of the snow expected Thursday morning and afternoon," according to the NWS Twin Cities. 

Most of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, is forecast to get 4-6 inches of snow with higher amounts north and east of a line from Fargo to Brainerd, Hinckley and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

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Here's a look at a simulated future radar from 1 p.m. Wednesday through 10 p.m. Thursday. The bulk of the snow will fall on Thursday for the Twin Cities, with significant impacts expected for both the morning and afternoon commutes. 

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The first wave of snow will come Wednesday afternoon into the post-dinner period as a band of heavy snow moves south to north out of southern Minnesota. The NWS says it'll be capable of producing 1-2 inches per hour, but since it'll be a narrow band it'll only drop a couple of inches. 

It'll be followed by a lull in the action before the "main event" arrives Thursday. 

Once the snow is out of here, frigid air will follow with temps dropping Thursday afternoon and staying below normal through Saturday. 

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The low in the Twin Cities Thursday night could be 5-10 degrees below zero with wind chill values down to 25-30 below zero. The high on Friday will struggled to break zero, the NWS says, with temps really dropping on Friday night. 

Areas of central Minnesota could have air temperatures Friday night as low as 20-30 below zero, maybe even -40F in western Minnesota. 

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More snow is possible early next week, which we'll be watching closely as the system nears. 

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