(Mankato, MN) – Just as the grass is turning green and the temps were warming, Minnesotans are bracing for an unwelcome April storm.

According to the National Weather Service, a “potentially historic” April storm will envelop a better part of the state, bring rain, snow and heavy winds to the region. Mankato is under a Winter Storm Watch from Wednesday night through Thursday night, and the region is expected to receive anywhere from 8 to 12 inches.  Points further north and west should get hit even harder, with areas seeing up to 24 inches.

West of Mankato, blizzard warnings have been issued for Renville, Redwood, Cottonwood, and other counties.  Winds are forecast to whip up to 50 mph, making travel conditions likely impossible by Thursday.

Minnesotans are hopeful for a quick spring melt off, with the forecast calling for sunny skies and highs near 40 on Saturday, although snow followed by warm temps carries its own concerns.

Weather Service Hydrologist Craig Schmidt says rivers in Minnesota will likely “turn around and start rising again.”  He said rivers could start rising by the end of this week, and some rivers could reach moderate to major flood stage.

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