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Winter storm to strike Thursday

Published 9:58am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A major winter storm is expected to cross through the Midwest this week, according to the National Weather Service.

“A powerful storm system developing over the Rockies will move into the central U.S. on Wednesday, bringing heavy snow and strong winds to the central plains,” the weather service states.

Albert Lea and much of Minnesota remains in a winter storm watch. That major storm is expected to strike Minnesota late Thursday and Friday.

“Snowfall amounts exceeding 6 inches are appearing more likely,” states the Chanhassen bureau of the weather service.

It goes on to add that 10 inches are possible along Interstate 90 in south central and southwestern Minnesota.

Thursday’s forecast calls for a high of 20 and east winds around 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Friday is expected to have a high of 27, with east winds of 5 to 10 mph.

The region remained in a wind chill advisory until noon today, with wind chill values dipping down to 20 and 35 below zero. Brisk northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph combine with air temperatures between zero and 10 below to deter people from going outside.

“This will result in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken,” the National Weather Service warned. “If you must venture outdoors, make sure you wear a hat and gloves.”

The long-term forecast says there is a chance of even more snow on Sunday and Monday.