A high-impact winter-like storm is unfolding in the Plains and will last until Wednesday in some areas.
For the next two days, periods of heavy snowfall, freezing rain and gusty winds will stop many drivers in their tracks from the Rockies to the prairies of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
The most significant ice buildup of a half inch to an inch will impact drivers from northeastern Texas to much of Oklahoma. This includes the Interstate 35, 40 and 44 corridors in Oklahoma City, Wichita Falls and some Tulsa suburbs. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an ice storm warning for these areas.
Depending on location and elevation, snowfall totals in the storm’s impact zone will range anywhere from just 1 or 2 inches to as much as 12 inches. In some areas, wind gusts could reach 30 mph or higher, resulting in occasional blowing snow and whiteout conditions.
Cold Canadian air and plenty of moisture have spread over the impact zone. The NWS expects two waves of winter precipitation to develop. The first wave was already moving through the impact zone as of midday Monday and should gradually fade by Monday evening.
Between this wave and the next one, there’s potential for freezing drizzle Monday night, particularly for places in the ice storm warning. This will make driving especially dangerous on bridges and overpasses.
A second wave of snow and freezing rain is expected to develop across the impact zone late Monday night to Wednesday. This wave could be worse as the freezing temperatures may spread farther to the southeast, putting more places at risk for icing.
There may be loose capacity (a lot of truckers) in the Oklahoma City market right now. This is based on the latest FreightWaves data showing a large spike in Inbound Tender Volume index (ITVI.OKC) over the past 10 days. If they can’t get out Monday to find loads in other markets, these drivers could get stuck for a couple of days. Fortunately, temperatures should warm up enough Thursday to melt the ice and snow in portions of the impact zone.