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Snow, slush, slow downs in northern Rockies (forecast video)

Image: Idaho Dept. of Transportation

Northern Rockies nuisance

Periods of snow and rain will slow down drivers in the northern Rockies today, October 4, and tonight. Most of the snowfall will impact travel in high elevations of central and eastern Idaho, as well as southwestern Montana and western Wyoming. Although the National Weather Service (NWS) hasn’t issued any winter weather alerts, and this storm won’t likely have major impacts, it may cause minor delays for some shippers.

SONAR Critical Events: Friday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. EDT

Look for total snow accumulations of up to six inches at pass level around Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming; Borah Peak, Stanley, Ketchum, Sun Valley and Galena in Idaho; and up to 10 inches in the Crazy, Beartooth and Absaroka mountains in Montana.

Watch out for snowy/slushy conditions on I-90 over Bozeman Pass and on US-212 near Red Lodge, Montana, as well as on I-15 in Idaho from Monida to Dubois.

Strong crosswinds in Idaho, gusting as high as 50 mph, will reduce visibility at times due to blowing snow and could make deadheading risky on I-15, US-93 and SR-39.

Other notable U.S. weather

Rain showers and thunderstorms will be scattered today from the Desert Southwest to the Great Plains and Midwest. Areas of localized flash flooding are possible across New Mexico, possibly affecting travel on portions of I-25 and I-40. A few spots of large hail and severe winds could pop up from northern Nebraska into South Dakota, between I-80 and I-90.

SONAR Critical Events: Friday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. EDT

Drivers who plan to park overnight in the Northeast and in northern lower Michigan may want to pour winter additive in their diesel. Low temperatures will drop into the 20s across upstate New York and much of interior New England where the NWS has posted Freeze Warnings. The Freeze Warnings – housed inside the FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events platform, along with all other NWS alerts – are the areas shaded in blue-green in the SONAR chart directly above.

Additional notes

A section of Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) rail is out of service in Missouri between Moberly and Kansas City because of a debris strike to the Grand River bridge in Brunswick, Missouri. Due to a logjam underneath the bridge, Norfolk Southern decided to cut the rails on the span so it could control the collapse. Shippers operating through this area should expect delays of at least 48 to 72 hours.

Interstate-29 in Iowa remains closed due to flooding, from just north of Council Bluffs to Loveland.

Finally, some lanes and ramps of the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River remain closed. This is just east of Houston, Texas, and is due to damage during last month’s flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, repairs may not be finished until early 2020.

Have a great day, a wonderful weekend, and be careful out there!

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.