An ice storm will soon spread across a dozen states, making travel for truckers risky, to say the least.
Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will interact with cold, arctic air across portions of the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic starting Wednesday. This will cause widespread ice and sleet across the Ohio Valley, as well as snow across portions of the mid-Atlantic. Ice amounts will vary across the zone — from one-tenth to half an inch — but will be enough to significantly disrupt supply chains from Oklahoma extending eastward through southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, southern Illinois, Kentucky and central Virginia. Ice could accumulate in some areas outside the forecast potential impact zone, such as Memphis, Tennessee, Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas.
Across northern Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey, drivers should expect 2 to 6 inches of snowfall, although up to 8 inches could pile up in isolated spots.
Major cities that should brace for the storm include Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Springfield, Missouri; Little Rock; Memphis; Louisville, Kentucky; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore; in addition to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Drivers will probably have the most issues on major interstates such as I-40, I-44, I-55, I-64, I-70, I-76, I-81 and I-90.
Besides surface transportation, air cargo delays are likely with the potential of flight cancellations and/or airport closings. Loading and unloading of freight at intermodal ramps may also be interrupted due to the harsh conditions. Movement of commodities (agriculture and energy) could also be disrupted and widespread power outages are possible in areas receiving the most ice accumulation.