A winter storm warning is in effect until 6:00 a.m.Tuesday for areas just to the east of Mankato, including Le Sueur, Faribault, and Owatonna. The rest of the area is under a winter weather advisory.

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen is forecasting five to eight inches in the warning area and three to five in the advisory locations, with the possibility of 12 inches in isolated spots.

For those that have to travel Monday, MnDOT’s Kevin Gutknect said, “Plan ahead and make sure they are able to get where they need to go in plenty of time. Give yourself extra time to travel and give those plows plenty of room to work.”

The evening commute is expected to be impacted, and Gutknect suggested that drivers get a handle on the current road conditions before getting on the road. “Folks should pay attention to things like 5-1-1 and weather and traffic reports,” he said.

NWS meteorologists say wind gusts of 45 miles per hour are also likely to cause blowing and drifting snow and Xcel Energy Spokesman Randy Fordice said, “If there are high winds and ice and snow that can potentially cause power outages sometimes — that we’re able to dispatch crews and employees to where they need to go to make sure we can get the power back on as quickly as possible.”

Fordice added, “We’ve got crews ready to go both throughout the metro area, throughout Greater Minnesota — and also North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well. So we are prepared in case anything happens.”

Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration, Fordice said, by reporting outages.