In anticipation of another major snowstorm, the National Weather Service on Wednesday afternoon issued a winter storm watch for all but the southern-most counties in Minnesota.

The winter storm watch, which includes Douglas and all of its surrounding counties, takes effect Friday evening through Sunday morning, north of a line extending roughly from Morris to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Heavy snow, with accumulations of more than 12 inches, are possible in portions of the watch area, with winds gusting as high as 45 mph.

Snow, rain, and freezing rain are expected to develop Friday afternoon, before turning to mostly snow Friday night. The weather service forecasts temperatures to warm Saturday. South of that Morris to Eau Claire line, the precipitation could turn to all rain, or a mixture of rain and snow.

However, north of that line it currently appears that snow will win out from Friday night through Sunday morning, and those amounts could be significant. Winds will be gusting out of the east, with the potential for blowing snow and reduced visibility.

For the Alexandria area, the forecast calls for a light mixture of snow and freezing rain through the day Friday before the storm kicks in Friday night. Accumulations of 3-7 inches are possible both Friday night and again during the day on Saturday.

A weather service statement notes that "there is low confidence regarding precipitation type during parts of this storm," since any changes from snow to rain will result in considerably smaller amounts of snow. We will have further updates as the storm approaches.