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Winter storm expected to strike

Published 9:07am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

South central Minnesota is expected to get hit tonight and Thursday with a powerful winter storm, according to the National Weather Service.

The southern tier of counties from Jackson eastward, along with Dodge, Olmsted and Winona counties, are in a winter storm warning through Thursday, joining areas in Iowa and Wisconsin.

“This storm will produce heavy snow, and also northwest winds of 30 to 40 mph, which will produce whiteout conditions at times,” a weather service report states.

The storm is forecast to hit Iowa, southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin. The weather service says Albert Lea can expect 3 to 4 inches of snow. The area received 3 inches of the white stuff Tuesday, according to KATE-AM radio.

The worst of the storm is expected to hit a line from Des Moines to Madison.

Mason City is forecast to receive 5 to 7 inches. Decorah, Iowa, could get anywhere from 9 inches to a foot of snow.

Fairmont is expected to receive 1 to 2 inches of snow. La Crosse, Wis., could get 7 to 10 inches.

Travel on Interstate 90 will be difficult during the first major snowstorm of the season. Travel is not advised.

The high for today is to be 30 degrees, with a high of 21 on Thursday.

Calmer weather is expected to settle across the region this weekend. It looks to be a certainty that Minnesotans will enjoy a white Christmas.

The long-term National Weather Service forecast says Christmas could have light snow, but no storm is expected: “A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 22.”