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Blizzard conditions developing in Midwest

Truckers will hit low to no visibility this weekend

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

More snow and wind in the Midwest will slow down weekend truckers. This is after a snowstorm snarled traffic in parts of the region on Thursday.

That storm was moving through the eastern U.S. as of Friday morning, but another one — an Alberta Clipper system — was following right behind it, heading toward the Upper Midwest.

This new storm will only drop a few inches of additional snow in eastern parts of the Dakotas and western parts of the Great Lakes region. However, wind gusts Friday could exceed 50 or even 60 mph at times, resulting in periods of blowing snow and blizzard conditions. Drivers could hit whiteouts with visibility of a quarter-mile or less along Interstates 29, 35 and 94, in places such as Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota; Thief River Falls, Fergus Falls and Duluth, Minnesota; as well as Superior, Wisconsin.

The National Weather Service has a blizzard warning posted for eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, which is set to expire at 6 p.m. CT Friday.

Snow squalls are possible Friday as far south as Iowa along the tail end of a cold front. A snow squall is a sudden burst of heavy snow accompanied by strong winds and a drastic drop in visibility. Most snow squalls last 30 to 60 minutes.

Later in the day and into Friday night, the snow and wind will sweep through the rest of the Great Lakes region before hitting the interior Northeast on Saturday. Gusts may weaken, but will still be strong enough to produce blowing snow and reduced visibility across much of Michigan and the rest of Wisconsin. Poor visibility could then be an issue Saturday from Cleveland to northern New England.


Another strong storm entering the Northwest late Saturday into Sunday could impact the Midwest early next week. Look for updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 29 from just south of Fargo to the U.S.-Canada border.
• Interstate 35 from Des Moines, Iowa, to Duluth.
• Interstate 94 from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Minneapolis.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.