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Nov. 16: Winter looks to be headed to western Minnesota

WILLMAR — Winter could be arriving on Friday, as the National Weather Service has issued blizzard and winter storm watches across western Minnesota starting Friday morning and going through the day.

A blizzard watch has been issued for Swift, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties, while Kandiyohi and Renville counties are under a winter storm watch.

Currently, Willmar is forecasted to receive 2 to 3 inches of snow during Friday daytime hours. Areas west of line from Granite Falls to Long Prairie could see significantly more, around 6 to 8 inches, according to the weather service.

The storm will start as rain Thursday afternoon or evening and eventually turn over to snow Friday morning as temperatures begin to drop to the low 20s. Snow could be heavy at times before ending in the evening.

Winds will be a worry as their intensity picks over Thursday. The forecast is calling for northwest winds 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph during the day Friday. Overnight Friday the winds will decrease to around 15 to 20 mph, but higher gusts are still possible.

The high winds could blow the newly fallen snow around, causing white out and blizzard conditions, especially Friday afternoon.

Saturday's forecast is sunny but cold, with a high near 30 and winds 10 to 15 mph coming from the northwest.

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