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Significant snowfall forecast Thursday for western Minn.

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WILLMAR -- Significant snowfall is in the forecast for western and southern Minnesota, possibly ranging up to 10 inches.

Snow is expected to develop Thursday morning in western Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. The main impact will be a band of 4 to 7 inches of snow near and south of a line from Canby to Redwood Falls to Owatonna. There could be a narrow band of 7 to 10 inches of snow within that. The Weather Service hopes later tonight to be able to refine the forecast area for the heaviest snowfall.

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A winter storm watch begins late tonight and into Thursday afternoon for all of southern Minnesota.

No advisories have been issued for the Willmar area, but the watch area includes Lac qui Parle, Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties in this part of the state. The Willmar forecast says there is a 40 percent chance of rain and snow late tonight and a 50 percent chance of snow Thursday.

The Weather Service says the storm system will track out of the Northern Plains and drop south across Iowa by Thursday afternoon. There will be a swath of moderate to heavy snow on the north side of this system in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The storm watch statement says the system looks stronger than it has over the past few days.

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