A cold front is producing the first snowstorm of the season for interior portions of the Northeast and New England. It won’t be a major storm, but it may be just bad enough to slow down truckers delivering to these areas.
Snowfall timing and amounts
The storm will move into areas of upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and adjacent areas of Canada the rest of today and this evening, November 7. Then, the snow will head south toward coastal New England overnight. However, temperatures will be too warm for snow to develop in most coastal communities. Some snowfall may extend as far south as State College and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, as well as Morgantown, West Virginia.
Snowfall will be heavy at times, but should amount to normal accumulations for the first storm of the season in this part of the country. This is what Brooke Taber, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Burlington, Vermont, told FreightWaves. Totals will only reach two inches or so in many of the valleys, up to four inches in some mid-slopes, and six to eight inches in some of the highest elevations of the Green and White mountains.
Taber said the snow may be wet at first, gradually turning dry and fluffy. As winds pick up tonight, blowing and drifting snow could lead to reduced visibility. Taber added that this storm is “right on schedule” for the first of the season, just a week earlier than the average mid-November arrival.
Impact on freight
Since this is a fast-moving system, the total period of impacts will be fairly brief — approximately 24 hours. However, during the storm, the combination of snow and wind will give drivers a tough time on portions of I-87, I-91, I-95 and the Trans-Canada Highway. There’s a good chance of delays due to reduced speeds, possible traffic jams and potential road closures that could last several hours. The storm could also slow down the loading and unloading of freight at some intermodal ramps, and potential flight delays and cancellations may impact air cargo in the region.
Disruptions to business operations and supply chains will be confined to the areas in the storm’s impact zone. On a national level, the storm’s impact on freight should be negligible at the most. According to the latest data in the FreightWaves SONAR map above, there’s not much outbound freight volume (OTVI) leaving the markets that are in the path of the storm.
Other areas of wintry weather today
As shown on the map near the top, lake effect snowfall will continue to crank across parts of lower Michigan today and tonight, north of Cadillac and Manistee, in addition to eastern parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Lake effect snowfall will also hit northwestern Pennsylvania, along I-79 from Erie to Meadville. Many of these areas could see four to eight inches of accumulation.
Watch out for freezing rain and icy conditions today from Amarillo, Texas to Woodward Oklahoma, including the I-40 corridor. Roads may also become icy from northeastern New Mexico to Pueblo and Colorado Springs in Colorado.
Downpours and scattered thunderstorms are possible from the southern Great Plains to the Southeast. The heaviest rainfall with flash flooding potential is from southeastern Oklahoma into northwestern Arkansas where totals of three to four inches are possible.