Winter storm watch extended across southern Minnesota

Winds gusting to 35 mph will cause blowing and drifting.
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Snow Joe Minneapolis

A winter storm watch has been extended to cover all of southern Minnesota on a line from Marshall to St. Peter to Red Wing and points south in advance of a snowstorm that will bring freezing rain and heavy snow to the region this weekend. 

"A mix of freezing rain and snow is expected to spread into southern Minnesota Saturday morning that will transition to heavy snow Saturday afternoon," says the National Weather Service (NWS). 

Snow accumulations of up to eight inches are expected in locations in the watch while areas north of the watch, including the Twin Cities metro area, are looking at less. 

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Then again, the storm won't arrive until Saturday morning and if the track shifts north slightly it could push the heaviest band of snow into the metro. If it shifts south, there might be less snow on the way for the Twin Cities. 

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It's the weather so the situation is extremely fluid, which is what the NWS in La Crosse is trying to point out by using all capital letters. 

"Please keep in mind that DETAILS ARE NOT YET SET IN STONE and some changes to the forecast are likely over the next 1 to 2 days." 

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The Canadian forecast model has been consistently printing out the heaviest snow accumulations along the Interstate 90 corridor in southern Minnesota, with a sharp cutoff to the north of the heaviest snow.

The European model is similar, with the heaviest snow in far southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. 

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According to AccuWeather, "the swath of heaviest snow and strongest winds is likely to extend from parts of western and central Nebraska to portions of South Dakota, northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin."

When the snow is all said and done, parts of Minnesota could be looking at a layer of ice buried in snow, which is going to make shoveling a real pain in the butt. 

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