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Much of Minnesota is in line for a much-needed soaking thanks to a storm system that arrives in the state Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says the "strong" system will hit the Upper Midwest from Tuesday to Thursday, bringing persistent rain between Tuesday and Thursday followed by light snow.

The NWS says that the amount of rain expected this week is "anomalous" for this time of year, and in its forecast discussion says it could end up being "the most significant precipitation event we've seen in the Twin Cities metro this entire year."

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Considering the extreme level of drought in the Twin Cities and parts of central and southern Minnesota, the rain will come as a welcome respite for the state's ailing vegetation ahead of winter.

At this time, the Twin Cities and a large area of central and northern Minnesota can expect to see anything from 1 to 4 inches of rain between now and Thursday.

Rain is expected to start in the Twin Cities on Tuesday afternoon/evening in the form of thunderstorms.

The system will then stick around, providing "multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms ... Tuesday night through Wednesday night."

It's then that the weather turns colder, with temperatures around freezing expected Friday and below freezing on Saturday, with the expected precipitation then likely to take the form of light snow.

As the rain ends Thursday night, the NWS says we will "go absolutely screaming into winter."

The snow that's likely Friday and Saturday however is likely to be "pretty minor," though it will still represent the first shock of real winter in the Twin Cities this season.

In northwest Minnesota, however, it's looking like a different story altogether, with the potential for it to be caught in the wider system that's going to bring intense, heavy snow to the Upper Midwest, particularly North Dakota.

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