For the fourth day in a row, truckers will face dangerously strong winds in the northern Plains.
Blustery weather spread across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, leading to tractor-trailer rollovers and localized power outages.
Gusts in parts of North Dakota exceeded 70 mph, while a gust of 96 mph was recorded in Wyoming.
The area of risk from these winds is shrinking, and gusts won’t be as strong Wednesday, but the odds of 18-wheelers tipping over remains elevated.
The National Weather Service still has high-wind watches and warnings posted for eastern Montana, all of North Dakota, most of South Dakota, as well as western Minnesota. This includes places such as Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Pierre, Rapid City and Glasgow.
Gusts are forecast to reach 50 to 65 mph but may hit 70 mph in a few spots. Winds will be from the northwest, creating crosswinds along interstates 90 and 94, which run east-west. However, highways are not straight lines, so crosswinds are likely along some curved sections of Interstate 29.
Also, snow will fall in some parts of the impact region, and there’s still snow on the ground. Drivers will hit periods of blowing or drifting snow that may quickly reduce visibility.
Snow squalls could develop Tuesday morning in parts of Montana, then again during the afternoon. These are sudden bursts of intense snow accompanied by strong winds. Snow squalls can reduce visibility to zero in a matter of seconds and can last for 30 to 60 minutes.
Winds will weaken Wednesday night, and the high-wind alerts are set to expire early Wednesday evening.
Major lanes of concern
• Interstate 29 from Watertown, South Dakota, to the North Dakota-Canada border.
• Interstate 90 in South Dakota from Spearfish to Mitchell.
• Interstate 94 from Glendive, Montana, to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
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