An early spring storm taking aim at Minnesota will drop anywhere from a few flakes in the far east metro and western Wisconsin to heavy snow across western and southern Minnesota, the National Weather Service said Thursday night.

A winter storm warning that will run from Friday night through Saturday morning has been posted for a large swath of south-central Minnesota, including Fergus Falls, Morris, Willmar, Mankato and Albert Lea, as well as for the metro-area counties of Scott, Carver and Rice.

A less dire winter weather advisory is in effect for Hennepin County, including Minneapolis, as well as for Stearns, Hennepin, Dakota, Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona, Houston and Olmsted counties.

But there is no warning or watch in the metro-area Ramsey, Anoka or Washington counties.

Snowfall is expected to begin late Friday morning in western Minnesota, moving east to Redwood Falls and Morris by 4 p.m., Willmar by 5 p.m., Alexandria by 6 p.m., Hutchinson and Mankato by 7 p.m., Albert Lea by 8 p.m., Little Falls and St. Cloud by 10 p.m. and in the Twin Cities and Red Wing by 11 p.m.

The winter storm warning areas could get up to 9 inches of snow by the time the storm tapers off Saturday, the Weather Service said. The advisory areas, including Minneapolis, are expected to get 1 to 3 inches.

Strong winds will accompany the storm across all affected areas and could make travel difficult, the Weather Service warned.

Sun will shine brightly on all that fresh snow on Sunday, with some of it melting. But by Sunday night, snow will return to much of south-central Minnesota, continuing into Monday morning and early afternoon and turning to rain by late afternoon as temperatures hover around freezing.