Update: Travel Could Get Dangerous as Winter Storm Arrives in Southeast Minnesota

Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- A predicted end-of-the-week winter storm that appears to be targeting Southeast Minnesota could be more severe than initially thought. 

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On Wednesday the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for southeastern Minnesota. The watch came on the heels of the region’s first snowstorm of the season that dropped 2-5 inches of snow on southeast Minnesota

The agency upgraded the Rochester area’s Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning on Thursday morning. The warning predicts a broad swath of 4-12 inches of snow will fall on the region early Friday morning through Friday evening with snowfall rates as high as 1 inch per hour.

 As of Thursday morning Rochester could see between 4 and 10 inches of snow. Winona is on the higher end of the predictions, with the possibility of picking up 6-12 inches of snow. 

MnDOT
MnDOT
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Along with the heavy snow accumulation, wind gusts ranging from 30-40mph are also in the forecast. The National Weather Service says the potentially high wind gusts are capable of causing isolated whiteout conditions and blowing and drifting snow in open areas. 

NWS La Crosse
NWS La Crosse
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Thursday morning’s forecast calls for the most severe impacts from the storm to be seen between early Friday morning and last into Friday night.

The major storm will then be followed by a blast of arctic air that could prevent highs from getting to 0 by the end of the weekend. 

The Winter Storm Warning begins at midnight Thursday and is set to expire at 9 am Saturday. For real-time road conditions and weather-related announcements download the KROC News App.

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Gallery Credit: Jessica Williams