Two rounds of winter weather are likely in portions of west central and southwest Minnesota Thursday and Friday, which could include fog, rain or snow.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has issued winter weather advisory for west central and southwest Minnesota from very early Thursday morning into Thursday evening. This advisory currently includes the counties of Pope, Stevens, Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine. This same area is under a winter storm watch for Friday.
This watch area could expand eastward later Wednesday as the first system moves in. Pressure will be approaching Minnesota from the Dakotas, with south winds bring low-level moisture over the extensive snow pack.
The first weather system will spread a wintry mix of precipitation across the region Thursday. Freezing drizzle or light freezing rain is forecast to begin around 3 a.m. Thursday. This will mix with snow at times, especially in counties near the west central Minnesota state line. The precipitation will diminish or end Thursday night in advance of a second more potent winter system.
This second system is expected to arrive Friday morning with some more freezing drizzle. Colder temperatures Friday afternoon will change the rain to moderate to heavy snow. There is a potential for 6 and 10 inches in the watch area of west central Minnesota.
In addition to the snow, blustery northerly winds could create areas of blowing and drifting snow. The accumulating snow is expected to clear out by Saturday morning.
In northwestern Minnesota and the Dakota, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch. The first storm system will bring snow and falling temperatures late Wednesday night and into Thursday. The second stronger weather system will bring possibly heavy snow and strong winds creating near blizzard conditions Friday afternoon into early Saturday.