Hello, winter: Up to 10 inches of wet, heavy snow possible Monday into Tuesday

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Parts of Minnesota are likely to see the largest snowfall of the season so far Monday into Tuesday, but there's still some uncertainty about exactly how much accumulation there will be.

Wintry precipitation is expected to begin in far southern Minnesota overnight Sunday, ahead of accumulating snow that could dump up to 10 inches in the southern two-thirds of the state when everything is all said and done, the National Weather Service says.

The potential for a large amount of heavy, wet snow prompted the National Weather Service to upgrade counties along the Minnesota River southwest of the Twin Cities to a winter storm warning, and expand the winter storm watch area farther to the northeast, to include St. Cloud. (See map below.)

Snow is also on the way for the Northland late Monday into Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Duluth

" target="_blank">tweeted. Accumulations will range from a dusting north of the Iron Range to 2-4 inches across the Arrowhead, the weather service notes, with more snow expected farther south.

The storm, a strong low pressure system that's moving north into Iowa and eventually Minnesota, is going to affect a large area of the Midwest.

The current projected path of the storm shows the most snow will fall along and west of Interstate 35 in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, with a wintry mix east of that area, the National Weather Service says.

Accumulations could range from 5-10 inches in southwestern Minnesota, with 2-6 inches most likely in the eastern metro and western Wisconsin, meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR's Updraft blog.

A lot of it depends on the temperature, which will be sitting right around the freezing mark of 32 degrees, meaning some of the precipitation could come in the form of rain, freezing rain or sleet as well as snow.

Wintry weather could slow commutes

The wintry weather is expected to move into the southwestern portion of Minnesota early Monday, before spreading to the north and east, with snow expected to continue through Tuesday afternoon.

Travel could be impacted in the southern half of the state due to snow, sleet and ice, the weather service warns. People in the Twin Cities should get through the Monday morning commute without many weather-related problems, FOX 9 notes, but National Weather Service says difficult driving conditions are expected later in the day – especially for the Monday evening commute and again for the morning rush on Tuesday.

The wintry weather could also mean some delays at the airport, the weather service reports, so be sure to check your flight before you head to the airport.

Because temperatures will be close to freezing, the snow will be heavy, wet and slushy, meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote on the Star Tribune's weather blog. Douglas says it will be more like a March snow – higher water content, tough to get off driveways and sidewalks, but freeways will remain wet and slushy.

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