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Winter storm watch already issued for part of southwest Minnesota

Heavy snow and strong winds will cause travel problems.

We previewed the chances of a powerful winter storm striking Minnesota this weekend (read here), and now the National Weather Service is getting ahead of the storm by issuing a winter storm watch for parts of southwest Minnesota. 

"A winter storm is possible Friday night into Sunday with potential for 5 to 10 inches of snow along with strong winds," the NWS Sioux Falls says. "There is potential for further expansion of winter storm watch areas further north."

The Twin Cities is not included in this watch, but that's likely because the storm will hit southwest Minnesota before it reaches eastern parts of the state, and it won't be surprising to see the metro area and/or points south and east included in a future watch. 

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Winds will also be very strong with this system, so blizzard conditions can't be ruled out. 

As mentioned in our preview of this storm, the NWS in Sioux Falls remains very confident that there will be a very sharp cutoff in snowfall totals on the northern side of the heaviest band of snow, but it's too early to predict where that could be. 

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One of the latest model runs, which will continue to change until the storm is on our doorstep, is forecasting up to 10 inches in portions of southwest Minnesota by the end of the weekend. 

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This storm is still more than 48 hours away (as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday) so expect snow forecast totals to change as meteorologists gain confidence in the track of the storm. 

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