Uh-oh. Time to call out the National Guard, alert FEMA, resuscitate Al Roker and put the president on hold. Yes, it's going to snow hard this afternoon.

I expect enough snow to shovel and plow, turning the evening commute into (forgive me, Stephen King) "a carnival of nightmare and death." Hopefully without the death part. But there's little doubt we're in for a white-knuckle drive.

Expect wind-whipped snow after lunch; over southern Minnesota, winds may be strong enough (over 35 miles per hour) and visibility low enough (under a quarter-mile) to reach blizzard criteria. Take it easy out there later on.

Weather models have been more maddening than usual with this on-again, off-again, on-again snow event. Now most of the models are in agreement: 4-8 inches possible by tonight; the heaviest amounts south of the Minnesota River.

Travel conditions improve Wednesday; a welcome weekend thaw before Canada flushes another export of bitter cold south of the border. Expect a night or two below zero by the middle of next week.