WILLMAR — National Weather Service forecasters now expect between 9 and 15 inches of snow to fall in west central Minnesota between Saturday night and Monday morning.
Because strong winds are expected to follow the snow, forecasters have now replaced the winter storm watch with a blizzard watch for west central and southwest Minnesota for Sunday night and Monday. There will be blizzard conditions and blowing snow and whiteout conditions because of wind gusts to 45 mph in the region.
The blizzard watch includes an area from Douglas County south and east to Nicollet County and west to the South Dakota border. The watch also includes an area of southeastern South Dakota.
The winter storm watch remains in effect from late Saturday night through Monday for the area north of a line from Mankato to Eau Claire, Wis. A wintry mix of rain and snow is expected for areas south of that line, with all snow expected by Sunday night. Snow in that region is expected to be 5 to 9 inches.
For the Willmar area and other areas north and west of the line, snowfall is expected to be 9 to 15 inches.
Forecasters also warn that there are a lot of uncertainties with the storm system and even a slight change in the track of the storm may result in significantly different conditions. They urge citizens to continue to monitor forecasts.