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Blizzard conditions possible in S. Minnesota Tuesday

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A winter storm – which could produce blizzard-like conditions – is expected to move into Minnesota for Groundhog's Day.

More mild weather is expected Sunday and Monday ahead of Tuesday's "major" winter storm, which could dump up to 10 inches of snow in south-central and southeastern Minnesota by the time the storm moves out, the National Weather Service says.

Meteorologist Paul Douglas explains on the Star Tribune weather blog that the storm is still too far out to predict snowfall totals to the inch, but most models indicate the heaviest snow will stay south of the Twin Cities. The metro area is expected to see about 2-3 inches of snow.

Strong northerly winds (30-40 mph) are expected to develop Tuesday afternoon, which has prompted a blizzard watch for far southern Minnesota, including Rochester, St. James, Mankato and Owatonna. (See map above.)

The weather service says the strong winds could create whiteout conditions that could make travel dangerous and potentially impossible Tuesday afternoon and night.

A winter storm watch is in effect for parts of southeastern Minnesota as well – that area is expected to see heavy snow, but not as much wind.

Here's the latest video briefing on the pending storm:

Douglas says there is one thing in the forecast that isn't in doubt: It's going to get colder.

After the snow, temperatures are expected to drop into the teens and 20s – and the cooler temperatures are expected to persist into next weekend, the weather service notes.

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