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Another bout with winter; snow, wind and cold to return

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After a long commute home to start the weekend on Friday night, more snow is expected on Saturday before strong winds move in on Sunday.

Those winds will usher in the next round of arctic cold, expected to return just in time for Monday.

Friday evening's snarled traffic in the Twin Cities was merely a taste of what we can expect for the rest of the weekend.

KSTP reports more snow is on the way for Saturday. Another 2-3 inches of snow is expected to fall on Saturday night into Sunday in the metro, some areas could see more than three inches of snow, before noon on Sunday.

Following the snow, strong northwest winds are expected to pick up creating areas of blowing and drifting snow, which could again create areas of white out conditions.

The heaviest snow fall totals are expected in southern Minnesota, according to the weather service.

With the strong wind expected on Sunday, the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for a large portion of central southern and western Minnesota.

On Sunday afternoon, northwest winds will increase to 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50. The wind is expected to decrease after midnight, which the weather service says will allow conditions to improve some, although areas of blowing and drifting snow are expected to persist into Monday.

The bitter cold is expected to arrive on Monday, according to KARE 11. The forecast is calling for sub-zero highs both Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows near 20 degrees below zero.

Wind chills on Sunday evening are expected to be in the minus 25 to minus 50 range.

That cold is leaving school officials facing some tough choices. Some southern Minnesota school districts; Austin, Rochester and Winona have already decided to close on Monday.

Others though expect to wait until Sunday to make a decision.

KARE 11 reports the Edina School District sent an email to parents regarding the decision. Faced with concerns about losing valuable learning time with their students school officials from across the metro held a conference call on Friday to discuss the recent cancellations and additional severe cold expected for Monday and Tuesday.

If schools do decide to close on Monday, expect local school boards to look at making up those lost days.

Schools aren't the only things that suffer with the cold temperatures though.

WCCO reports the extreme cold has a steep cost. The colder the temperature drops, the fewer people venture out.

Regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Toby Madden, tells WCCO the extreme cold certainly affects the micro economy. But he says the weather will have little impact on the region's overall growth.

But Madden points out when schools close, parents are forced to stay home with their children and he says that causes workplace productivity to suffer.

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