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Snowstorm returning to Western states

Another 24 inches of snow possible in parts of northern Rockies

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Updated Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. ET.

Less than a week after the first major snowstorm of the season faded across the Rockies, the next is already on its way.

Parts of Montana and Wyoming were slammed with more than 24 inches of snow as well as blizzard conditions the first four days of last week. The next storm, which began Sunday night, will first impact truckers in the Sierra Nevada.

Snow is coming down along much of the range and some places could see 6 to 12 inches before the storm moves east later Monday. The National Weather Service has winter weather advisories posted, lasting until 9 a.m. PT Monday for the South Lake Tahoe and Truckee, California, areas, as well as Crater Lake, Oregon; until 11 a.m. PT for the Warner Mountains in Modoc County, California; and until noon for the Surprise Valley in California.

Monday night the storm could dump more than 12 inches of snow in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada, where the NWS has issued a winter weather advisory. Then Monday night and Tuesday snow will spread across the northern Rockies.

Along with gusty winds up to 40 mph, 12 to 24 inches of snow could pile up in some of Wyoming’s high elevations, such as the Wind River, Casper, Bighorn and Laramie mountains. Along parts of the Interstate 25 corridor, drivers could hit areas with 4 to 8 inches of snow and look for 6 to 12 inches in parts of the Wasatch and Uinta ranges in northeastern Utah. Blowing snow will lead to periods of reduced visibility and potential whiteout conditions. Winter storm watches and warnings have been posted for these areas.


The storm may also produce accumulating snow in western Colorado, but the NWS didn’t have alerts issued for these areas as of late Monday morning.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 25 from Orin, Wyoming, to just north of Casper.
• Interstate 80 from Reno, Nevada, to Truckee.
• Interstate 80 from Lyman, Wyoming, to Salt Lake City.

As the snowstorm exits the Western mountains, it could drop heavy rain and produce severe thunderstorms Wednesday in parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. This will be followed by showers and storms Thursday in the East.

Other notable weather this week

High winds will increase the risk of rollovers Monday in the Southwest. Gusts of 45 to 55 mph will whip across southern Nevada, southeastern California, northern Arizona as well as western and southern Utah.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 15 from Las Vegas to Barstow, California.
• Interstate 15 in Utah from Cedar City to Beaver.
• Interstate 40 from Barstow to the Arizona-New Mexico border.

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.