The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning in effect from 8 a.m. Friday morning through Saturday evening. Up to nine inches of snow is expected across much of southern and central Minnesota.

The snow is expected to taper off a bit Friday evening, but heavy winds will continue throughout Saturday, with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour creating difficult travel and whiteout conditions.

The National Weather Service stated that if the forecast of 45 mph winds on Saturday is accurate, the winter storm warning will most likely be upgraded to a blizzard warning.

(This article has been updated to account for the storm watch being upgraded by the NWS to a winter storm warning.)