Add a blizzard watch to the list of alerts for the winter storm that's headed for us.
The National Weather Service issued the blizzard watch Wednesday afternoon for southwestern Minnesota. North and east of the blizzard watch area there's a winter storm watch, which includes the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Willmar and Rochester.
A winter storm watch means dangerous winter weather is likely incoming. A blizzard watch means poor visibility is also possible because of blowing snow and strong winds.
Here's a map of the latest watch areas:
With a foot or more of snow possible across southern Minnesota, driving will be pretty difficult both Friday morning and Friday evening. Especially in the blizzard watch area, which could see wind gusts of 30-40 mph.
Blowing and drifting snow could cause some roads to close, and the National Weather Service also says power outages are possible because heavy, wet snow combined with strong winds could cause some tree branches to fall on power lines.
How much will we get?
Heavy snow is expected to start falling Thursday night, with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour. So by the Friday morning commute, there could be 3-6 inches of snow on the ground, the National Weather Service says.
But that's only part one of the storm. Another band will move through the area on Friday, and places that get hit with both rounds of wintry weather could get as much as a foot or more of snow on the ground by Friday evening.
However, there's still some uncertainty with where these bands will go. As of Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service said the Twin Cities would most likely get 11-12 inches of snow. Here's a look at the likelihood of how much snow we'll get, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday:
If the forecast stays true and we get 12-plus inches of snow, this will be the first time in six years that the Twin Cities has gotten that much snow from a single storm, the National Weather Service tweeted.
Here's a look at the highest one-day snowfall records for the Twin Cities for the month of February: