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Pacific Northwest faces more storms Thanksgiving week

Truckers will have to chain up in Cascades, northern Rockies

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Another stormy period will impact truckers in British Columbia, Canada, and the U.S. Northwest Thanksgiving week.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

The frequency and intensity of this long-duration event will produce heavy mountain snow and valley rain, as well as very strong winds.

The first storm will begin Monday afternoon, lasting through Tuesday. The next will arrive late Wednesday or early on Thanksgiving, possibly producing periods of dicey weather through the weekend.

Snow totals in the higher elevations by the end of the week could range from 12 to 36 inches in parts of the Washington and Oregon Cascades, as well as the northern Rockies in Montana and Idaho. Several inches of rain could soak areas along and west of Interstate 5 in Washington and Oregon, from Seattle to Medford.

Gusts will hit 40 to 50 mph, with the strongest winds along the coast and in the mountain passes. Stevens, Snoqualmie, Lookout and Lolo passes will be some of the trouble spots. Look for periods of low visibility due to blowing and drifting snow, in addition to a high risk of rollovers.

Overall, disruptions to business operations and supply chain networks in the region should be moderate. However, impacts could remain locally severe in Vancouver, British Columbia, where recent floods have caused persistent supply chain disruptions.

Related: Port of Vancouver rail service could resume this week as 47 ships wait to dock

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 from Seattle to Medford.
• Interstate 84 in Oregon from La Grande to Meacham.
• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Missoula, Montana.
• Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver to Hope.

Other notable weather this week

Heavy lake-effect snow and gusty winds will make travel difficult Monday and possibly Tuesday in parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern lower Michigan and Upstate New York. Another round could begin Thanksgiving Day.

Periods of gusty winds and very dry air this week, paired with ongoing drought, will raise the risk of wildfires sparking in parts of the Plains and Southern California. Red flag warnings have been posted in these areas.

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.