(Mankato, MN) – A Winter Storm Watch issued for much of southern Minnesota is likely to turn into a blinding blizzard.

The National Weather Service says a ground blizzard is possible as the winds pick up late Wednesday night before the watch officially goes into effect Thursday morning at 1 a.m.  Blizzard warnings have already been issued for the far western portion of the state.

In and around Mankato, however, the concern lies with the approximately 5 inches of light, fluffy snow that was dumped on the region last Friday, and the impending winds that are expected to gust at speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour.  Visibility in the dark, early morning hours could particularly be hampered as that snow is whipped up by the strong winds.

The winter weather advisory is slated to expire at noon Thursday, while temps are expected to steadily drop.  Wind chills Thursday could bottom out at as low as -28.

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