WILLMAR — Most of west central Minnesota is under a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service, while two far western counties and eastern South Dakota are under a blizzard warning starting Thursday evening.

The advisory is in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday until noon Friday for Brown, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Redwood, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.

Snowfall of 2 to 4 inches is forecast and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour in the advisory area. Blowing snow and reduced visibility are expected, including during the Friday morning commute.

The weather service said in the advisory that gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

Big Stone and Traverse counties are in the blizzard warning from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Friday, along with a handful of eastern South Dakota counties, including Milbank, Sisseton and Watertown areas.

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Blizzard conditions are expected in the warning area, with 2 to 4 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour.

The public should plan on slippery road conditions and reduced visibility caused by strong winds and falling snow.

The weather service said in the warning that patchy blowing snow will add to hazardous driving conditions, which are expected to impact the Friday morning commute.