MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As the winter storm system heading toward Minnesota gets closer, confidence remains high that much of central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, will see 6 to 10 inches of wet, heavy snow this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for most of Minnesota, and it’s slated to go into effect Saturday morning and last until mid-day Sunday.

Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak says there’s high confidence that much of central Minnesota, from the Minnesota River Valley to the Iron Range, will see 6 to 10 inches of snow accumulate.

Even higher accumulations, up to 12 inches, are expected in a line from west-central to north-central Minnesota, covering communities such as Willmar, Morris and Brainerd.

As for timing, the storm is expected to enter southwestern Minnesota early Saturday morning and gradually move across the state, hitting the Twin Cities around noon.

Snowfall rates are expected to be 1 to 2 inches an hour. Weather officials say travel will likely be impacted, with possible road closures in some areas.

Additionally, officials advise that the heavy snow could strain buildings that are already covered in snow and ice. There’s also concern over shovelers suffering injuries while working to clear the heavy snow.

RELATED: MnDOT Workers Concerned About Heavy, Wet Snow

In southern Minnesota, the forecast is less certain. Since highs Saturday will be around freezing, rain or a wintry mix is possible for part of the storm. Snow totals could be between 3 to 6 inches, or perhaps even less, depending on how much rain falls.

After the heavy snow, strong winds are expected to sweep over Minnesota on Saturday night and into Sunday morning, with gusts up to 45 mph. However, weather officials say blizzard conditions are unlikely.

Following the snow, temperatures will remain close to average heading into the workweek. In the middle of next week, another system could bring snow and/or rain showers to Minnesota.

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