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Blizzard keeps trucking through Rockies

1st major storm of season to produce 2-foot-plus snow totals

Tuesday will be another day of heavy snow, whiteout conditions and delays for truckers in the Rockies. This first big storm of the season began early Monday and has already produced 12 to 20 inches of snow in many high elevations of the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Most of the snow so far has hit eastern Idaho, southern Montana and northern Wyoming, but will spread Tuesday across the rest of Wyoming, eastern Montana, Utah and western Colorado. In areas already blanketed, an additional 12-plus inches could pile up through early Wednesday. About 12 inches could accumulate in areas where snow is forecast to develop Tuesday.

Wind gusts will reach 40 mph or greater in some areas, so blowing snow will create whiteout conditions at times. The storm will not only slow down drivers, but may also delay operations at intermodal hubs and oil facilities in the region.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 15 from Butte, Montana, to Cedar City, Utah.
• Interstate 25 from Casper to Buffalo, Wyoming.
• Interstate 70 from Vail to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
• Interstate 80 in southeastern Wyoming.
• Interstate 90 from Sundance, Wyoming, to Bozeman, Montana.

On the warm side of the system, severe storms could produce tornadoes, large hail, dangerous winds and torrential rain from Nebraska to northern Texas. This includes Wichita Falls, Texas; Oklahoma City; Wichita and Topeka, Kansas; as well as North Platte and Grand Island, Nebraska.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 40 from Amarillo to Oklahoma City.
• Interstate 35 from Wichita to Oklahoma City.
• Interstate 70 from Topeka to Goodland, Kansas.
• Interstate 80 from Nebraska City, Iowa, to North Platte.

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.