The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for late Wednesday through Friday morning for the potential of heavy snow and windy conditions that could make for very difficult travel.

Just how much snow can we expect, and when will the heaviest snow fall? Here's what the National Weather Service is saying.

Snowfall arrival times vary from anywhere late Wednesday night to sometime Thursday, depending on who you get your information from. A lot of variables that could change the outcome of this storm are the reason for this uncertainty. As the National Weather Service sees it right now, precipitation could start as rain or mixed precipitation as early as late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, changing to all snow by sometime early Thursday morning. Snow will increase in intensity through the day on Thursday, and taper off through the day on Friday, wrapping up by sometime Friday afternoon. The heaviest snow as of right now is expected to fall in the later half of Thursday.

Wind is also expected to be an issue, with sustained strong winds off Lake Superior offering the potential for lakeshore flooding and damage. This same winds that could batter the shoreline could also lead to blowing and drifting snow. Some potential good news is that this same wind could potentially hold off snow from reaching the Twin Ports area, possibly cutting into the total snowfall amounts.

So, how much? Depends on who you ask. For the Twin Ports area, the minimum for expected snowfall totals seems to be about 6 inches. The National Weather Service is seeing a greater possible amount. They see a potential for 10-14 inches of snow in a swath from the head of Lake Superior toward the Twin Cities and Southwestern Minnesota, where snowfall totals are expected to be even higher. This is the most recent conclusion of looking at a series of different weather models that suggest anything from 4 inches to 18 inches being possible. Factoring in all of the potential outcomes various weather models suggest, here is the best prediction the National Weather Service has to offer as of the time of this publication.

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