The National Weather Service has expanded a Winter Storm Watch for southern Minnesota to include Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne counties from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon -- for heavy snow, strong winds, and blowing snow.

The National Weather Service says this could be the strongest winter storm of the season, bringing 6-12 inches of snow to the Watch area, with amounts over a foot possible. To make matters worse, strong winds of 20-30 mph could gust as high as 40 mph -- causing blowing & drifting snow, poor visibilities, and blizzard conditions.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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From the National Weather Service this morning: Today will spell an end to our run of near record February warmth, with a significant winter storm still expected for Friday. Only minor changes were made to the snowfall forecast overnight, with the winter storm watch expanded a bit farther north. Very difficult travel conditions are anticipated across much of the area Friday.