Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The National Weather Service is giving residents of southeastern Minnesota an early "heads up" about the possibility of a significant snowstorm this week.

As of Monday evening, the forecasting models are in disagreement about the amount of snow that could be delivered by a developing storm system, with the range starting at 2 inches on the low end and almost a foot on the high end. Despite the disparity, forecasters say the growing consensus among the models is for a band of heavy snow to develop across southern Minnesota into central Wisconsin on Thursday, with the highest potential Thursday afternoon and Thursday night.

The National Weather Service says there is also the potential for a wintry mix, with some icing, particularly in areas south of Rochester.

The low-pressure center responsible for the wintry forecast is expected to pull a mass of arctic air into the region by Saturday when the high temperature is only expected to be in the mid-teens. By Christmas Day, forecasters say the mercury could peak in the low single digits above zero with sub-zero cold overnight Christmas Eve.

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