Forecast calls for up to a foot of snow in Twin Cities by midweek

Wintry weather is back this week.

The National Weather Service forecasts heavy snow — possibly more than a foot — to hit central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and west central Wisconsin from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. The agency has issued a winter storm watch.

Winds could gust up to 45 mph, and residents could face blizzard conditions. Travel could be very difficult to impossible, according to the NWS, with blowing snow reducing visibility, winds felling tree branches and windchills as low as 20 below zero that could cause hypothermia.

The NWS said there will be two main waves: 4 to 8 inches of snow will fall Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon, with a brief pause before another 8 inches of snow or more is expected starting Wednesday evening.