There are 87 counties in Minnesota and only 20 of them AREN'T in a winter storm warning right now. That's how big this weekend's snowstorm is, and it's already impacting parts of southwest Minnesota as it makes its way east-northeast the rest of the day before exiting the area Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has maintained a fairly consistent snowfall forecast, but they've actually bumped up totals for the metro after dropping them a bit on Friday afternoon. Now they're forecasting 8+ inches for the majority of the metro and 6-8 inches for southern/southeast suburbs.
Snow will reach the Twin Cities around midday and there could be some rain, sleet or freezing rain mixing with snow to start before it changes to all snow. If it takes longer to change over, snow totals could be less, but the NWS believes the lower snow totals will be along and south of a Mankato to Red Wing line.
Snow rates could be very heavy with 1-2 inches per hour this afternoon.
"Snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are likely in the warning area, with the highest amounts over west central Minnesota," the NWS Twin Cities says.
Bill Borghoff, a senior meteorologist with the NWS Twin Cities, gets more specific in this morning's forecast discussion: "Generally expecting 8 to 12 inches north of a line from New Ulm to the Twin Cities, New Richmond, and Rice Lake with amounts dropping off to the south of there."
Strong winds out of the northwest will develop Saturday night and last through Sunday morning. Gusts up to 40 mph are expected in southern and western Minnesota which will make travel difficult.
The NWS notes that this will be a heavy, wet snow that will add stress to roofs and possibly cause health concerns for anyone shoveling. Make sure to take frequent breaks if shoveling during or after the storm.