• DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
  • DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Midwest snowstorm coming Valentine’s week

Heavy snow, icy conditions possible from Plains to Great Lakes

Intermittent delays are possible late-week as the next winter storm heads to the Midwest.


Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers


A cold front will produce snow and rain across the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies on Monday and Tuesday, heading to the Plains by midweek. The system will gain a bit of steam at that point, potentially producing areas of icy conditions and heavy snow from late Wednesday to early Friday.

The latest forecasts as of Monday morning showed the favored region for heavy snow would be from St. Louis to Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Montreal. This is where up to 6 inches could pile up. The favored zone for ice accumulations will be just south of the most likely zone for heavy snow, possibly extending to portions of the southern Plains.

There’s still a bit of uncertainty regarding exact totals of snow and ice, but shippers, carriers and customers should expect minor to perhaps moderate delays on the roads and in the air, in addition to river ports and intermodal ramps. The good news is that, compared to the major storm that hit from Texas to the Midwest and Northeast last month, this week’s storm will be much less impactful, with significantly less snow and ice and fewer large cities and freight hubs in its path.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 55 from Chicago to St. Louis.
• Interstate 65 in Indiana from Gary to Indianapolis.
• Interstate 70 from Topeka, Kansas, to Indianapolis.
• Interstate 80/90 from Madison, Wisconsin, to Cleveland.

Severe storm threat

On the warm side of the front, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain could develop Wednesday and Thursday in parts of the South. Look for potential hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes from Dallas to Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama; and Atlanta.

Other notable weather this week

High winds will increase the risk of rollovers for drivers Monday and Tuesday from the Sierra Nevada to the Desert Southwest. Gusts will reach 45 to 65 mph, possibly exceeding 70 mph in the Sierra. Las Vegas, all of southeastern California, Reno-Carson City and the Lake Tahoe areas are included in the threat.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.