The National Weather Service is warning that travel conditions could rapidly deteriorate Thursday due to snow squalls.

According to NWS, a narrow band of heavy snow stretching from New Ulm to the northern and western Twin Cities suburbs is slowly heading east.

NWS describes snow squalls as intense, short-lived bursts of heavy snowfall that lead to a quick reduction in visibilities, often accompanied by gusty winds.

Snow is falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour with the band that formed today. NWS says visibility and travel conditions can rapidly deteriorate within a short distance during these squalls. The agency recommends leaving extra distance between vehicles and objects, and traveling at slower speeds.

Accumulations of around an inch are expected in the region, but in areas where heavy snow persists, up to three inches of snow is possible.

NWS says Mankato, St. Peter, Le Sueur, Waseca, Gaylord, St. James, and New Ulm are all in the squall band.

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