WILLMAR — The leading edge of the first winter storm of 2021 reached the region Thursday morning and could bring with it several inches of snow, high winds and the chance of some minor ice glazing.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for most of west central and southwestern Minnesota including all of the West Central Tribune's coverage area. The warning went into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday and is scheduled to expire at 6 p.m. Friday.

According to the weather service, the storm is part of a complex system. The more significant impacts arrived Thursday afternoon and runs through Friday morning, when the majority of the snow is set to fall. Around the same time, high winds from the north, with gusts reaching near 50 mph, will start blowing across western and south central Minnesota.

Earlier Thursday some rain fell in the area, which could have caused minor ice glazing on untreated pavement, the weather service warned.

Snow totals expected range from 3 to 7 inches in west central Minnesota and 6 to 10 in southern Minnesota.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The weather service has also issued a winter storm advisory for most of the rest of the state, excluding a portion of southeastern Minnesota which is under a winter storm warning.

Drivers should be prepared for slippery road conditions and significantly reduced visibility as the storm intensifies. Both the Thursday evening and Friday morning commutes could be impacted, the weather service said. Up to the date road condition reports can be found at 511mn.org or calling 511.