The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has pushed back the expected start time of the winter storm that has set its sights on Mankato, but they say it’s still coming and the area could see anywhere from three to fifteen inches of snow – however, 8 to 12 is most likely.

Very heavy snow is expected to develop by Friday evening across southern and Western Minnesota. Meteorologists say snow rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are expected at times. The precipitation will initially begin as a mix of rain and snow, but will quickly transition to all snow.

In the New Ulm, St James, and Fairmont areas the winter storm warning will now go into effect at 7:00 p.m., and run through 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

The St Peter, Le Sueur, Mankato, Waseca, Owatonna, and Blue Earth areas will be under a warning from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Forecasters say the combination of gusty winds and the heavy, wet snow is likely to make driving difficult, if not impossible, and could also lead to minor tree damage.