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Blizzard conditions heading back to Rockies, Plains

Treacherous travel for truckers from Idaho to Kansas

(Photo: Montana DOT)

Truckers will face treacherous travel the next two days from the Rockies to the Plains as potential blizzard conditions develop.

Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers

A strong cold front from Canada will move across the Rockies and central Plains from Tuesday through Thursday, dumping 12 to 24 inches of snow in some high elevations. This front already triggered snow squalls in Montana Monday night.

Wind gusts will reach 35 to 40 mph at times, leading to whiteouts and possible road closures due to blowing and drifting snow.

The National Weather Service has posted various winter weather alerts stretching more than 1,000 miles across several states, from northern Idaho to northern Kansas. Up to 8 inches of snow could pile up in the Denver area, western and central Nebraska and northern Kansas.

By Friday, the storm will hit the eastern third of the country, producing thunderstorms and drenching rain. As cold air rushes in behind the front, rain will change to snow Friday night and Saturday from the southern Appalachians to New England.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 15 from Great Falls, Montana, to the Interstate 70 junction in Utah.
• Interstate 25 from Denver to Buffalo, Wyoming.
• Interstate 70 from the Interstate 15 junction in Utah to Russell, Kansas.
• Interstate 80 from Hastings, Nebraska, to Salt Lake City.
• Interstate 90 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to Buffalo, Wyoming.

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.