FARGO -- The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of eastern North Dakota  and portions of northern and western Minnesota beginning Thursday morning, Oct. 26.

The winter storm watch will take effect from 7 a.m. Thursday and go through 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, according to the weather service.

North Dakota counties included in the watch are: Barnes, Benson, Cass, Cavalier, Walsh, Eddy, Grand Forks, Griggs, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Sargent, Steele, Towner and Traill. The NWS does not list any counties in Minnesota that are under the same watch, but they do say that portions of northwest and west-central Minnesota is included.

Blizzard conditions are possible with this storm and travel could be very difficult to impossible, according to the NWS. Total snow accumulations of up to 2 inches is possible, with localized amounts up to 4 inches.

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Winds will begin to pick up Thursday morning, with rain changing to snow Thursday afternoon and into the evening, the NWS says. Expect strong winds and snow to continue into Friday morning. Winds gusting as high as 60 mph could be possible, causing whiteout conditions with blowing and drifting snow likely.

Travel is expected to be very dangerous and the NWS urges motorists to use extreme caution if driving.

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