The season's first snowfall: The latest on how much to expect, and when

How much snow is expected, and when it might hit.
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Snow is definitely on its way to most of Minnesota – we know that for sure. But how much snow are we talking?

Here's the latest from the National Weather Service.

4:15 p.m. – It's hitting northern Minnesota

The snow is here, and combined with the high winds it's creating blizzard-like conditions in northwestern Minnesota.

He's a video of how things looked in Goodridge just before 4 p.m.

Minnesota Department of Transportation's 511 road conditions map show that major highways in the north of the state are already partially-covered with snow.

The snow expected to make its way south as the evening unfolds. Here's what the National Weather Service's projections looked like as of 1 p.m.

12:30 p.m. – Wind is picking up

Wind gusts reaching more than 50 mph are being recorded in eastern North Dakota now, with gusts around 40 mph have been noted in Minnesota.

That high wind warning is in effect until 10 p.m., and the gusts could be strong enough to bring down limbs and power lines. Once snow starts falling it could create pretty hazardous blizzard conditions, with poor visibility out on the roads.

Snow showers are meandering eastward as well, with "light" accumulation possible on grassy areas into the afternoon, the National Weather Service Grand Forks says.

Wind gusts will be pretty strong in the southwest corner of the state too.

Projected snowfall totals are still essentially what they were Thursday morning, so read on for that info.

9 a.m. – How much snow to expect

A winter weather advisory (it's a new term, here's what it means) is coming for most of the state either Thursday night and Friday morning, stretching from the Iowa border up through central Minnesota and into the North Shore.

It's the purple on this map:

Expect snow – how much it will stick and accumulate, forecasters aren't sure, but they've got a range of totals.

Just west of the Twin Cities, and from Little Falls down through Albert Lea, people should expect at least 1 inch – and it's likely it'll be closer to 3 or 4. There's the potential for 5 inches, but the chance isn't great. 

The Twin Cities itself will likely get an inch or less.

In northwest Minnesota, expect about 2 inches along the Dakota border, but much more further east – including a possible whopping 10 inches near Baudette.

Throughout the North Shore, totals will range from 1-3 inches around Duluth, to 3-6 along the Iron Range, and 5-7 in spots along the northern border.

In the southwest, there's less variation. Cities might ultimately get little to no snow, though there's a chance for 3-4 inches near Redwood Falls and Windom. 

The far southeast corner might escape snow all together

Will it stick?

The Weather Service doesn't expect all the snow to stick and accumulate, partly because temps around freezing, a warm ground and the inclusion of rain might break things up. Grassy areas are the most susceptible. 

Up north, where lots of snow falls, it could collect on power lines and branches and cause some power outages. 

What's the timing?

The snow will move into western Minnesota late Thursday afternoon, with 3-5 inches possible in lakes country as it picks up into the night.

Out east around Duluth, things will pick up closer to midnight, and carry through into Friday morning. 

It'll be a similar story around the Twin Cities, with most snow falling late Thursday, overnight into Friday.

The wind will be problematic

Across central and northern Minnesota, wind gusts of 45 or 50 mph will blow the snow around – leading to blizzard conditions. 

There's a high wind warning along the Minnesota-Dakota border until 10 p.m. Thursday, and a winter storm warning from about Roseau through International Falls.

"Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute," the Weather Service says for the warning area.

Meanwhile, in northeastern Minnesota, blowing and drifting snow is possible in open areas and near lakes, which could reduce visibility. Wind gusts could be as high as 30 mph. 

Friday morning driving could be especially difficult through the Iron Range and along the North Shore.

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