Truckers will have to deal with winter-like weather in a few regions of the U.S. this week, and take it slowly to avoid “slip sliding away” on the roads. Snow, ice, wind and bitterly cold temperatures will lead to potentially dangerous travel and delays of freight movement.
Today, Dec. 9, the winter-like weather will stretch from eastern Nebraska to some of the Great Lakes states. A cold front is producing snowfall that will be heavy at times in Minnesota, Wisconsin, eastern Iowa and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Places such as Minneapolis-St. Paul, Eau Claire, Duluth and Wausau could see up to four inches, while areas farther north like Ashland, Ironwood, Superior and Hurley could see nearly 12 inches. Winds could gust as high as 35 to 40 mph, creating occasional whiteout conditions due to blowing snow. To the south, in northern Iowa, watch out for freezing rain/icy roads along with the snow. Delays are possible on I-35, I-90 and I-94, as well as US-2 and US-53. Check chain laws here for the latest updates on winter driving.
Winds will remain gusty tonight in some parts of Minnesota. The winds, along with plummeting temperatures, will produce wind chills near 20 degrees below zero in Park Rapids, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Henning, Battle Lake, Elbow Lake, Barrett and places in between. Drivers need to make sure they have enough fuel additive in their diesel, and spend as little time as possible outside of their trucks. Frostbite can occur within 20 to 30 minutes in these conditions.
Tuesday night and Wednesday, Dec. 10 and 11, rain will change to snow from the lower Mississippi River valley all the way to New England. Parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northern Alabama could see minor accumulations on grassy areas, but the snow will not likely stick to roads, especially major highways because surface temperatures will be too warm. In the Northeast and New England, it will be a wet snow and a slushy mess on the streets as temperatures hover around the freezing mark.
Last, but certainly not least, a snowstorm may slam the Pacific Northwest Wednesday night and Thursday. It’s tough to forecast precise accumulations at this point, but indications are that the snowfall could be heavy in the Cascades of Washington state and the northern Rockies of Idaho. This would slow down drivers over mountain passes in the region, and the storm may linger into Friday.
Have a great day, and be careful out there!