The National Weather Service (NWS) says confidence is high that a major winter storm will barrel through Minnesota this weekend.
"Confidence is high a major winter storm will cause significant travel impacts across the Upper Midwest this weekend!" the NWS Twin Cities said Wednesday morning.
"Heavy snow and widespread blowing snow are likely for much of central and western Minnesota. Some rain could mix in across southeastern Minnesota into central Wisconsin Saturday, cutting down snowfall totals there."
This storm has the potential to dump a lot of snow – double-digit totals possibly – across parts of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, and widespread blowing and drifting snow is likely across western and southern Minnesota Saturday night and Sunday.
There is a chance that precipitation begins as rain before changing over to snow, but "we are not anticipating a prolonged period of a mixed wintry precip," the NWS Twin Cities says.
The best chance for rain and a wintry mix is across far southern Minnesota, although the storm track would only need to move north slightly to increase rain chances in the metro area, which would decrease snow totals.
The Duluth office of the National Weather Service has a similar high risk zone for heavy snow as that of the NWS Twin Cities.
"Widespread snow is expected over much of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan," NWS Duluth says. "Snow totals between 6 and 12 inches are possible from west-central and southwest Minnesota to the Twin Cities to the Twin Ports and portions of the Arrowhead to much of northern Wisconsin."
The storm system is still out over the Pacific Ocean, so computer models, which we wrote about on Tuesday, will be able to hone in on this storm's capabilities even more when the system reaches the U.S. late Thursday night or early Friday morning.