UPDATE 2/20: The storm has been downgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has placed the Minnetonka area, along with much of Minnesota, under a winter storm watch as Winter Storm Q makes its way out of the Pacific West and into the Rockies today, moving into the Upper Midwest Thursday and Friday.
The area is under a wind chill advisory today, as temps settle into the single digits with 20 to 30 mph winds, creating very cold wind chills.
As for "Q," heavy snow is expected to begin falling in the Twin Cities on Thursday afternoon, continuing through Friday.
Forecasted amounts range from 5 to 9 inches, depending on the track of the storm. It would make it among the top snowfalls of the 2012-2013 winter season.
The storm, of course, would coincide with a busy weekend in the winter sports season, as teams begin state tournaments in girls' hockey, while wrestling and boys' hockey set to settle the state field with section tournaments.
The Minnetonka girls hockey team opens state tournament play on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. vs. Irondale High School (19-8-1) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Here's the forecast from the NWS:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON. A WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TODAY.
* TIMING: DANGEROUS WIND CHILL VALUES THROUGH LATE THIS MORNING. SNOW DEVELOPING THURSDAY EVENING AND CONTINUING THROUGH FRIDAY.
* WIND CHILL VALUES: DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OF 25 TO 30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF COLD TEMPERATURES AND STRONG WINDS.
* SNOW TOTALS: 5 TO 8 INCHES BETWEEN THURSDAY EVENING AND FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS... MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW... SLEET... OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.