Truckers trying to grab loads the next few days before heading home for Thanksgiving may hit roadblocks due to wintry weather. Periods of heavy snowfall will hit the Rockies Monday night and Tuesday, with snow, sleet and freezing rain across the Great Lakes.
Some of the worst conditions will be across the Rockies in central and southwestern Colorado, where the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning. The warning does not include the downtown Denver area, but it does include the mountains to the south and west of the city.
High elevations above 8,000 feet could see 12 to 20 inches of snowfall plus wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph. Blowing snow could cause occasional whiteout conditions along portions of U.S. Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway. This stretch of road is one of the most dangerous for truckers during snowstorms. There is a silver lining — the storm will be a quick hitter, not lingering for days.
As the storm fades in the Rockies by midday Tuesday, it will get cranking in the Great Lakes. A messy mix of snow, sleet and icy weather will develop across several states, lasting through the night. There’s a good chance of delays in ground and air transportation in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago. By Wednesday, most of the precipitation will change to rainfall as temperatures rise after a warm front passes through the region.
The NWS has not issued any winter weather alerts yet for the Great Lakes, but may add some over the next couple of days. The odds of some areas receiving at least 4 inches of snowfall were around 40% as of Monday morning.
A new system could produce heavy snowfall Wednesday in the Cascades of Washington and Oregon, in addition to the northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana.