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Winter storm warnings have been issued across a large swatch of northern Minnesota with the first major storm of the season set to arrive this weekend.

The National Weather Service says that snow will start in central Minnesota Saturday afternoon, bringing around 1-3 inches of snow on a line between Alexandria and Mora, north of the Twin Cities.

But it will be on Sunday that the storm system escalates as it shifts north.

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The latest projections from the NWS estimates that parts of the North Shore – particularly Cook and Lake counties – could see snowfall in the region of 12-18 inches.

Most of the rest of northern Minnesota are in the 8-12 inches zone, with winter storm warnings issued for pretty much the northernmost third of the state, while the North Shore around Grand Marais is in a blizzard warning.

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Further south, the Brainerd area is expecting between 4-6 inches, while Alexandria and St. Cloud can expect 1-3 inches.

As for the Twin Cities metro, it's missing out on most of the "fun" but there will be at least some of the white stuff here, albeit at this stage it's in the 0-2 inches zone.

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As well as the snow, there will also be some high winds on Sunday, with gusts of 40-45 mph possible into early Monday, which the NWS is warning could lead to areas of blowing snow and treacherous driving conditions.

And then on Monday? It's going to get real cold. The NWS says that temperatures will come "crashing down late Sunday into Monday," with wind chills 10-20 degrees below zero in the morning, with another round of light snow possible on Tuesday.

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