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Brace for snow
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MONROE - The first big winter storm of the year approaches this weekend, with some forecasts predicting up to 10 inches of snowfall.

Friday morning, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for this afternoon into Sunday night for the southern Wisconsin area.

According to the NWS forecast, snowfall is predicted to begin late this afternoon, with an accumulation of six to 10 inches by Sunday evening. The forecast also predicts southeasterly winds between 10 and 20 miles an hour.

Jeff Wunschel, head of the Green County Highway Department, said the department was prepared for the possibility of severe weather.

"We've certainly enjoyed the extended fall weather we've had recently, but we all have to be flexible," Wunschel said.

Wunschel said he was expecting a total snow accumulation of roughly 7.5 inches by Sunday afternoon, based on reports from the NWS. A snowfall of that size would pose few problems for Wunschel's department and could be cleared from the highways within two days, assuming minimal winds, he said.

The National Weather Service also predicts low temperatures for the area throughout the next several days, reaching a low of 18 degrees Saturday night, but dropping still further to a high of 15 degrees Tuesday.

Wunschel advised drivers to use common sense when traveling this weekend.

"Make sure to look at the forecast before you go anywhere and stay on state roads as much as you can, and you should be fine," Wunschel said.