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National Weather Service forecast of snow and rain expected in the Midwest

Winter storm forecast

MINNEAPOLIS — Heavy snow spread across a large swath of the Midwest, where travel conditions deteriorated and scores of schools closed or moved to online instruction.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois, where forecasters were expecting up to 10 inches of fresh snow.

The weather service tweeted that the snow will combine with gusty winds to produce slippery roads and reduced visibility. Forecasters say the fast-moving storm may make travel difficult across parts of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest into the Mid-Mississippi Valley through Saturday morning.

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Timing of the weather

All is on track for a winter storm to impact the St. Louis region tonight and Saturday.  We will start to see some rain showers this afternoon with a steady rain developing briefly this evening.  The rain will make a pretty quick switch to snow from north to south across the area between 8:00 pm and midnight with the transition sometime around 9:00 and 10:00 pm.  The heaviest snow is likely to fall from 11:00 pm through about 5:00 am and then begin to taper off to flurries from north to south.  Total accumulations of 2-4 inches are likely.  

How much snow will we get?

The probability of anyone reaching 4″ or more is about 40% in the metropolitan area. So, while not the most likely outcome, heavier totals are possible, especially in Lincoln and Pike Counties.  

This will be a wet sloppy snow with huge flakes that stick to everything.  Pre-treatment on the roads may not be very effective because of the proceeding period of rain.  Ground temperatures are still a bit warm, so roads are likely to range from wet and slushy to snow-covered overnight tonight.  Quick improvement will take place once the snow ends Saturday.