For the next several days, truckers will be dealing with a barrage of snowstorms across a large portion of the West. The storms will mostly impact travel in high elevations.
The first system is expected to hit Friday, lingering in some areas through this weekend. The first system will be followed up by a much stronger and colder storm starting late Sunday into Monday. This system, with colder air, will bring snow to much lower elevations, including some suburbs of Los Angeles and San Diego. Additional storms will develop at times next week, and winds will be strong enough at times to cause blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions.
The first storm alone could dump 10 to 18 inches in parts of Arizona — including Flagstaff on Interstate 40 — as well as central Nevada, eastern Utah and western Colorado, making sections of I-70 and I-80 very slick.
By the middle or end of next week, parts of the Sierra Nevada, Rockies, Cascades and Wasatch Range, as well as high elevations in Nevada and Arizona, could see 24 to 36 inches of total accumulation. In Southern California, several inches could pile up in the San Diego County mountains and over Cajon Pass, affecting drivers on I-8 and I-15.
Other notable weather
A late weekend storm will spread up to 12 inches of snowfall from the Plains to the eastern Great Lakes. Some places will also see freezing rain and icy conditions. The storm will impact truckers from Sunday afternoon/evening into Monday.
Major cities and transportation hubs that could experience delays in freight flows and supply chains include Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee; Detroit; Cleveland; Pittsburgh; and Buffalo, New York. Drivers will have issues on several major interstate highways, including I-29, I-35, I-55 I-70, I-75, I-76, I-80, I-81 and I-90.
Wind gusts above 30 mph could cause significant blowing and drifting snow, leading to reduced visibility and periods of possible whiteout conditions. There’s also a higher risk of power outages and roadblocks in areas of ice buildup.
In the Deep South, heavy rain and a few thunderstorms Friday will soak many areas. Watch out for possible localized flash flooding along portions of the I-10, I-20, I-55, I-65 and I-75 corridors.