(Mankato, MN)  –  It’s a familiar story by now.

A blizzard warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for Mankato and most of the southern portion of the state.  The warning takes effect at 9 p.m. tonight and won’t expire until 6 p.m. Sunday.

For now it appears that the “heavy band of snow” forecasters have been tracking will stay southeast of Mankato, just clipping the Albert Lea area.  Mankato is looking at roughly 3 to 4 inches of snowfall, while areas to the west can expect 1 to 3 inches, according the National Weather Service.

It’s the winds that will affect Mankato and the surrounding areas with this particular storm.  NWS says winds could gust around 45 to 50 miles per hour tonight into tomorrow, creating a sure formula for blizzard conditions with the freshly fallen snow.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a winter storm with winds this strong,” said NWS in a Facebook post.

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