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UPDATE: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect for Dakota County

The track of a major winter storm has moved northwest, meaning Mendota Heights could see accumulating snow.

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UPDATE 9:50 P.M.: Here is the latest winter weather advisory issued at 9:04 p.m. Wednesday. The advisory covers Dakota, Blue Earth, LeSueur, Scott, Washington and Watonwan counties:

A MAJOR WINTER STORM WILL SPREAD SNOW ACROSS SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN BEGINNING TONIGHT...AND LASTING THROUGH THURSDAY. SNOWFALL TOTALS WILL RANGE FROM 5 TO 9 INCHES ALONG A LINE FROM ALBERT LEA...TO RED WING MINNESOTA...AND UP THROUGH EAU CLAIRE WISCONSIN...WITH LESSER AMOUNTS NORTH AND WEST OF THIS LINE. STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 25 MPH...WITH GUSTS 30 TO 40 MPH WILL ACCOMPANY THE SNOW AND CAUSE SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING ALONG I-90 IN MINNESOTA...AND I-94 IN WISCONSIN. TRAVEL WILL BECOME EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THURSDAY...

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW IS BEGINNING...AND WILL CONTINUE TONIGHT. PERIODS OF LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW ARE EXPECTED...WITH STRONG WINDS DEVELOPING EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

* MAIN IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF FALLING SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL LEAD TO BLOWING AND DRIFTING AND REDUCED VISIBILITIES...WHICH WILL MAKE TRAVEL DIFFICULT ON THURSDAY.

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UPDATE: 4 P.M. WEDNESDAY: So much for dodging a bullet.

The track of the major winter storm predicted to hit the Great Plains starting tonight continues to move northwest. That means more of Minnesota is expected to feel the brunt of the storm.

This afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for Minnesota counties as far north as Steele County. In addition, winter storm warnings have been issued for such nearby counties as Rice and Goodhue.

As for us in the Twin Cities metro, a winter weather advisory will go into effect for Dakota County at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Here is the text of the warnings and advisories:

...SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW EXPECTED IN FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN TONIGHT AND THURSDAY...

.A BLIZZARD WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR STEELE AND FREEBORN COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA FOR TONIGHT AND THURSDAY. A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR TONIGHT AND THURSDAY FOR GOODHUE...RICE...WASECA...FARIBAULT AND MARTIN COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA...ALONG WITH PIERCE...PEPIN...DUNN...CHIPPEWA AND EAU CLAIRE COUNTIES IN WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR THE COUNTIES IMMEDIATELY NORTH AND WEST OF THE WARNING AREA.

SNOW WILL DEVELOP ACROSS NEBRASKA AND NORTHERN IOWA THIS AFTERNOON...AND BEGIN TO SPREAD NORTH AND NORTHEAST ACROSS THE MINNESOTA BORDER BY SUNSET. THE AREA OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD NORTHEAST ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA... AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN OVERNIGHT. SEVERAL INCHES OF ACCUMULATING SNOW ARE LIKELY IN THE WARNED AREA...WITH A FEW INCHES IN THE ADVISORY AREA.

ALTHOUGH THE CURRENT TRACK OF THIS STORM TAKES THE BULK OF THE HEAVY SNOW ACROSS IOWA AND WISCONSIN...THERE HAS BEEN A SLIGHT SHIFT TO THE NORTHWEST ON THE MORNING MODEL RUNS. THEREFORE... SNOWFALL AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY INCREASED AND ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE AS FAR NORTH AS THE SOUTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN SUBURBS OF THE TWIN CITIES.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST THURSDAY...

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN LATE THIS AFTERNOON...AND INCREASE IN INTENSITY BY THIS EVENING. STRONG WINDS WILL FOLLOW THURSDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON. STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED THURSDAY AS WELL.

* MAIN IMPACT...BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW COULD MAKE FOR DIFFICULT TRAVEL ON THURSDAY.

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UPDATE 2:50 P.M. WEDNESDAY: The National Weather Service has revised its forecast. The track of the major winter story set to impact the Great Plains has shifted northwest, meaning Mendota Heights and Dakota County could see some snow.

Here is the text of the winter weather advisory that's set to take effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday:

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST THURSDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST THURSDAY.

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN LATE THIS AFTERNOON...AND INCREASE IN INTENSITY BY THIS EVENING. STRONG WINDS WILL FOLLOW THURSDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON. STRONG SUSTAINED WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS OF 30 TO 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED THURSDAY AS WELL.

* MAIN IMPACT...BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW COULD MAKE FOR DIFFICULT TRAVEL ON THURSDAY.

Keep with Patch for further updates.

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ORIGINAL STORY: For those of you wishing for a little snow before Christmas to top off the remnants of last week’s storm, it doesn’t appear likely.

The National Weather Service says this morning that a major snowstorm will miss Mendota Heights ... barely.

While the forecast for Mendota Heights calls for less than a half-inch of snow after 1 a.m. tonight, winter weather advisories have been issued for counties as Steele and Goodhue counties to our south beginning at 9 p.m.

And, cities like Rochester is under a winter storm warning between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Thursday. A blizzard warning is out for southwestern Wisconsin.

After this round of precipitation moves through, no snow is in the forecast until a slight chance of the white stuff on Christmas Day. Highs generally are expected to reach the 20s and lows to dip into the single digits and teens between now and Christmas.

PRECIPITATION DEFICIT
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says the Twin Cities continues to run a snow deficit despite last week’s storm. So far this winter, the metro has received 12.4 inches of snow, nearly all of it falling on Dec. 9 and 10. That’s 4.7 inches below normal, but nearly four inches more than we received by this time last year.

For the year, the metro’s precipitation total of 29.39 inches is 0.77 inches below normal.

LOCAL FORECAST
Click here for an updated forecast from the National Weather Service.

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