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Winter storm watch issued for Thursday and Friday

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The calendar says it’s April but the forecast calls for a winter storm to blanket the region, beginning Thursday and lasting into Friday.

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for all of central and south central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin for Thursday afternoon through Friday.

Total snow accumulations of six to 12 inches are expected, with the heaviest amounts from southwest Minnesota across the Twin Cities metro area and into northern Wisconsin.

The spring snowstorm is developing as part of a powerful, moisture-laden storm system tracking across the Great Plains Thursday and Friday. The Weather Service said precipitation will begin Thursday as a mix of rain and snow, changing to all snow Thursday afternoon and continuing into Friday. Snowfall could be heavy at times, with possible rates of one to two inches an hour.

Travel could become hazardous Thursday night and Friday. The Weather Service also warned that the snowfall will be heavy, wet and difficult to shovel.

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