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Winter storm watch issued for southeast Minnesota

Heavy snow is expected to fall the first half of the day Saturday.

A winter storm watch has been issued for parts of southeast Minnesota as a strong storm system is expected to dump heavy snow on Saturday. 

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The watch does not include the Twin Cities, but Mankato, Rochester and Albert Lea are included. Snow totals could exceed six inches with this uninvited late-April doozy. 

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"Rain will arrive overnight tonight, but is expected to change to snow early Saturday morning. The snow will be heavy at times, with snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour possible between 7 AM and 1 PM Saturday," the NWS says in the winter storm watch language. 

"The heaviest snowfall is expected near and south of a line from Fairmont through Mankato to Lake City, with the greatest amounts near the Interstate 90 corridor. Total snowfall in much of the watch area is expected to exceed 6 inches, with local maximum amounts of near 9 inches possible."

Winds 10-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph would create very difficult travel conditions during the storm. 

Not everyone in the winter storm watch will get 6+ inches of snow. In fact, it's likely that the National Weather Service will issue winter storm warnings for an area smaller than what the winter storm watch currently is. That should happen Friday afternoon or evening. 

Here's a look at the simulated future radar (won't work in some browsers). 

nam3km_ref_frzn_ncus_fh22-42

Rain is expected to change over to snow in the Twin Cities, but little, if anything, is expected in terms of accumulation. 

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