Break out your shovels: 6 inches of snow possible for northern Minnesota

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Snow lovers, rejoice! Western and northern Minnesota could pick up several inches of snow by Wednesday afternoon.

A strong storm system that's moving into the state is expected to bring freezing drizzle and flurries to the region Tuesday, ahead of more widespread, heavier snow in northern and western Minnesota by late Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday, the National Weather Service says.

That area could see snow accumulations totaling 6 inches or more, which has prompted the National Weather Service to issue winter weather alerts for western and northern Minnesota from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening.

But people living in east-central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, will have to wait for snow, meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog. The region is expected to see some freezing drizzle, rain and possibly some snow – but accumulations will likely stay under an inch, the weather service says.

The main threats with the storm are heavy snow, reduced visibility and difficult driving conditions, the weather service notes.

Some freezing precipitation has already been reported in the state, which has made some roads slick. As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, many roadways in central and northern Minnesota were listed as partially covered with ice on the Minnesota Department of Transportation's website.

An icy roadway Tuesday morning may have contributed to a fatal crash in Douglas County. The vehicle went off the road and rolled, killing the driver, according to the State Patrol's report.

For those wondering where our December weather has been, you'll soon have an answer. The coldest air of the season – in the 20s and teens – is expected on Thursday and Friday, the weather service says.

But that cold weather isn't sticking around for long:

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