A strong spring storm is expected to bring a mixture of heavy rainfall, heavy snow, strong northeast winds, and possible flooding to the area this weekend, March 28-29, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported.

A rain/snow mix will move in early Saturday, and turn to all rain for most of Saturday, then switch over to all snow Saturday evening and continue overnight before diminishing and switching back to a rain/snow mix Sunday morning.

Northeast winds to increase Saturday afternoon and evening, remain strong overnight, then gradually diminish and become north Sunday morning.

In Brainerd, 2-3 inches of snow is possible, the weather service reported. Precipitation was expected to start as rain late Friday, followed by sleet and a mixture of rain and snow between 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The high temperature Saturday in Brainerd is forecast to be 42 degrees, with winds starting out at 5-10 mph and increasing to 15-20 mph in the afternoon, with gusts up to 25 mph.

On Saturday night, rain is likely before 9 p.m., a mixture of rain and snow between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Sunday, followed by snow into Sunday morning. The high temperature Sunday is expected to reach 46 degrees with 15 mph winds and gusts up to 25 mph. Monday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high temperature of 51 degrees. Precipitation is also in forecast Tuesday and Wednesday.

Areas east of Brainerd toward Duluth, including Aitkin County, are in a winter storm watch Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, with 3-6 inches of snow expected and locally higher amounts possible. Wind gusts could reach 35 mph in the watch area, the weather service reported.

The weather service advises residents to watch out for localized flooding, lakeshore flooding, and heavy wet snow making slippery road conditions.