A bout of winter weather combined with strong winds could cause blizzard conditions Tuesday, which has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a blizzard watch for just west of the Twin Cities.
It could be our biggest snowfall of the season thus far, with some localized areas picking up 6 inches of snow, WCCO reports. (See the tweet below for details.)
Snow will begin developing in western Minnesota late Monday night and spread east through Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service says.
The steadiest stream of snow will hit during the Tuesday morning rush, Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog. The Twin Cities will likely pick up 2-3 inches, with more snow north and less snow south of the metro, Huttner notes.
The storm is moving fast, which will keep snow totals down, Meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote on his Star Tribune weather blog. The track of the storm, how dry the air is and how much rain the storm dumps before it reaches Minnesota will also factor into how much snow we get, according to FOX 9 meteorologist Steve Frazier.
Strong northwest winds will develop Tuesday, and could cause blizzard conditions in west central into south central Minnesota, making driving conditions hazardous, the weather service notes, wind speeds could top 30-40 mph, Douglas says.
Tuesday's storm could cause schools to dismiss early in parts of Minnesota.
The National Weather Service has issued several weather alerts ahead of the storm. There's a blizzard warning for parts of south central Minnesota, including Morris, Willmar, Mankato and Albert Lea.
A blizzard watch is in effect for far western Minnesota, which includes Watertown, Brookings and Marshall.
There's also a winter weather advisory in effect for the eastern half of the state, stretching from Canada to Iowa, including the cities of Duluth, Brainerd, St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, Winona and Rochester.
The snow isn't expected to stay on the ground long.
A blast of arctic air will follow Tuesday's storm, Huttner says, but an upper air pattern will bring milder air into Minnesota next week – temperatures could reach the 50s in the Twin Cities, reports note.