Winter is getting a jumpstart in the lakes area as a second round of heavy snow - possibly totaling 7-9 inches - is expected through the day Thursday, Oct. 22, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.

The lakes area is part of a winter storm watch, with snow predicted to arrive between 6-9 a.m. Thursday. Northern Crow Wing County and southern Cass County are forecast to receive the most snow in this storm.

The heaviest snowfall is expected Thursday morning and afternoon with snow ending west to east Thursday night. The NWS says heavier snowfall could impact Thursday afternoon and evening commutes.

Roads will become snow-covered and slippery. Conditions will vary depending on the temperature and time of day, with temperatures dropping below freezing in the late afternoon/evening leading to slick roads. Expect varying road conditions, the NWS warns.

The snow will be wet and heavy, which could make shoveling more difficult.

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This storm comes on the heels of around 4.5 inches of snow that fell Tuesday, Oct. 20, across the lakes area. The Brainerd lakes area unofficially broke the snowfall record for the day, with 4.5 inches of snow falling as of 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

The NWS offers the following winter driving safety tips:

  • Clear snow and ice from windows and lights.
  • Brake early. Leave twice the amount of room for stopping.
  • Don't use cruise control in wintry conditions.
  • Don't cut in front of other vehicles.
  • Take it slow. Delay travel if feasible.

For more information, visit https://www.weather.gov/duluth.