MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Enjoy the April temperatures Wednesday while you can. February is going to come roaring back Friday with a snowstorm that’s expected to dump anywhere from 6 inches to a foot of snow on the Twin Cities metro.

If snowfall totals hit high-end projections – a little over a foot — the late February storm could rank as one of the top 20 biggest storms in Twin Cities history. The last time the metro saw a single snow event that brought more than a foot of snow was in February 2011, when nearly 14 inches fell at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Yet, the Twin Cities won’t likely be hit hardest by the late-week storm. Communities in southwest Minnesota, in the area north of Worthington, could get more than 16 inches of snow. Meanwhile, communities in north-central Minnesota look to see up 6 inches of snow, depending on how far north the storm tracks.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of southern and central Minnesota. The storm is expected to begin as heavy rain Thursday evening before changing to heavy snow overnight and into Friday. Expect the morning commute Friday to be a nightmare.

The storm will also bring strong winds. A Blizzard Watch has been issued for for southwestern Minnesota, as gusts of up 40 mph are expected to create blowing and drifting snow in open areas, making travel hazardous.

The snowstorm looks to bring a dramatic end to a stretch of unseasonably warm weather.

Four of the last five days brought record-breaking warmth to the Twin Cities, and two days had temperatures surge into the 60s. There have been only six times in Minnesota history where the mercury has hit 60 degrees in February, and two of them happened this year.

Moreover, Wednesday even has a chance to break record temperatures. The temp to beat is 57 degrees, a record set in 1930. Highs Wednesday are expected to reach the upper 50s.

Following the late-week storm, temperatures will fall back to average. Highs through the weekend look to be in the low 30s, which is about right for late February.

Get ready to welcome back winter.

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