Every Friday, FreightWaves takes a look at the past week or so in social media, highlighting images in trucking, transportation and weather. This week features washed out roads and rails in the Pacific Northwest, rare horseshoe clouds, 18-wheelers tipped over by winds in Montana and more.
Water, water everywhere
Relentless rounds of heavy rain have recently soaked the Pacific Northwest, from Washington to British Columbia. It was the culmination of a series of storms that hit the region over several days, finally ending early this week. The end results were major flooding, mudslides and road closures.
The hardest-hit areas were from northern Washington to Vancouver, Canada, where roads and rails were washed out on sections of U.S. Highway 101, as well as several Canadian highways. The flooding was so severe that rail service was shut down to and from the Port of Vancouver, the largest port in Canada.
Horseshoes in the sky
Mesmerizing horseshoe clouds were spotted Tuesday in Livingston, Montana, about 25 miles east of Bozeman. These are so unusual that they’re one of the rarest documented cloud formations, even in the age of social media.
According to the National Weather Service, this cloud formation occurs when rotating air or shearing horizontal winds create spin. Shear occurs when winds change speed and direction with altitude. Gently rising air can then force the spinning part of the cloud upward, forming the horseshoe shape.
Wicked winds swept across the Plains this week, toppling tractor-trailers in their path. Some of the strongest winds hit Big Sky Country, where 18-wheelers tipped over along U.S. Highway 2 in Browning. The National Weather Service told FreightWaves that gusts Monday reached 72 mph in this area.
Because of high winds, transportation officials shut down a stretch of Interstate 90 Tuesday to high-profile vehicles between Sheridan and Buffalo, Wyoming. At one point that day, gusts exceeded 90 mph. At various times this week, powerful winds also hit parts of the Dakotas.
Anyone who lives downwind of the Great Lakes knows that lake-effect snows are simply a fact of life. They usually form in fairly narrow bands when cold air flows over the relatively warm lake waters. They can be quite intense in winter, with accumulations of more than 12 inches as well as whiteout conditions.
In mid-November, lake-effect snowstorms are typically weaker. The first round of the season cranked up over the past few days, dumping 3 to 5 inches from the Cleveland suburbs to portions of Upstate New York.
This week’s beauty shots feature bright fall foliage in Central Park in New York City.
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