Wet and windy Wednesday: Drenching rains expected – and possibly some snow

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It'll be a wet and windy Wednesday across much of Minnesota in what the National Weather Service is calling our "first strong fall storm system."

Southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin – including the Twin Cities – could see up to 2 inches of rain by the time the storm moves out Thursday. Accompanying the rain is strong wind, and gusts up to 50-60 mph are possible in southwest and south-central Minnesota, the weather service notes.

After a mild start to the week, temperatures will drop into the lower 40s to lower 50s across the state Wednesday as a "potent low-pressure system" moves into the Upper Midwest, the National Weather Service says.

Rain will spread into southern Minnesota early Wednesday morning, before gradually expanding east and then north. A rumble or two of thunder is also possible with this storm, especially in the southern part of the state, reports note.

As temperatures overnight drop into the low 30s, it'll increase the chance for a few snowflakes in the west and north, with 1-3 inches of snow possible in northern Minnesota by Thursday night.

Meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote on the Star Tribune weather blog he expects an "especially unpleasant" morning commute Thursday because of water on the roads, wind gusts over 30 mph, and falling temperatures.

Cooler temps will continue through the end of the week. Highs Thursday and Friday will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s across the state, the weather service notes, which is about average for this time of year, AccuWeather notes.

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