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Update: Winter storm watch issued, 12-plus inches possible

And we've officially got a winter storm watch.

The National Weather Service updated the forecast Wednesday afternoon to include a blizzard watch. You can read the latest on the incoming snowstorm here.

You can the story from Tuesday below. 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Thursday into Friday for parts of southern/central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

Snowfall totals are expected to fluctuate with future forecasts, but current projections have a swatch of 6-12 inches, and 12-plus inches in parts of southern/central Minnesota, according to the NWS forecast discussion.

The discussion adds that 3-6 inches of snow are expected to fall overnight Thursday into Friday, with another 4-6 inches on Friday.

Here's the map of which counties the watch effects:

The watch itself describes it as maybe "the strongest winter storm of the season."

Any driving you have to do Friday morning or afternoon will probably be painful, the weather service says.

In addition, strong winds with gusts up to 40 mph are possible.

AccuWeather is targeting a portion of southeast Minnesota, including Rochester, to receive 12-18 inches of snow.

The original story from Tuesday morning is below.

Talk about a weather turnaround.

The high Tuesday in southern Minnesota is in the 60s, and by Thursday evening it's looking more and more likely the area will be hit by that snowstorm we mentioned last week.

Here's the latest on what's most likely to happen:

The National Weather Service says the storm is on track to hit the upper Midwest between Thursday night and Friday evening, noting there's "enough confidence" that heavy snow will fall in south-central and southeastern Minnesota.

There's still some uncertainty with how much snow will actually fall and where, but snow totals could range from 6-12 inches, maybe more. As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service's website listed "most likely" snowfall totals for certain cities. Here's a look at some them, and the probability of each:

MinnyApple explains most forecast models are showing it'll be a fast-moving, heavy snow event – so we'll get a large amount of snow, but we could get a lot more snow if the storm slows down a bit.

Here's the snow totals they're predicting:

The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities says it wouldn't be surprised if a winter storm watch is issued sometime Tuesday. The latest weather alerts can be found here.

Cold temps return too

And with the snow comes the return of more seasonable temperatures. Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog that we're in for probably a week of temps in the 20s and 30s starting with this weekend.

March will probably come in like a lion, with Huttner saying we'll probably see one more subzero temperature day in the beginning of the month before winter really makes its exit.

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