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Storms continue to pound Pacific Northwest, Sierra Nevada

Truckers to face more potential flooding, whiteout conditions, rollover risk

(Photo: WSDOT)

Truckers will have to deal with more messy weather in the Northwest and Sierra Nevada the next two days as another round of heavy rain and snow cranks up.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

This is another in a series of storms that has been impacting these regions, as well as southwestern Canada, for about the past week. Expect ongoing disruptions to supply chain networks through Wednesday due to potential delays in surface transportation, air cargo and operations at intermodal ramps.

Look for 10 to 20 inches of total snow in some high elevations of the Cascades, Sierra Nevada and northern Rockies, especially above 7,000 feet. Some mid-elevations from 4,000 to 7,000 feet will see up to 8 inches of snow, while low elevations and valley floors will see either wet snow, a snow-rain mix or only rain.

Major cities within the impact zone include Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver, Washington; and Boise, Idaho.

Wind gusts will hit 40 to 70 mph, depending on exact location and altitude, leading to potential whiteout conditions and road closures due to blowing snow. Winds may also blow down trees and power lines, which may end up blocking roads. The powerful gusts will also increase the risk of rollovers.

Related: Landslides close California highway

Rain may be heavy enough at times to produce localized flash flooding and landslides. Debris flows may develop in areas where downpours drench wildfire burn scar areas.

This is storm will impact drivers in the north-central U.S. and especially southern Canada later this week.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 from Mount Shasta, California, to Seattle.
• Interstate 80 from Truckee to Gold Run, California.
• Interstate 84 from Portland to Boise.
• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Missoula, Montana.
• U.S. Highway 50 from Echo Lake, California, to South Lake Tahoe.
• U.S. Highway 395 from Alturas, California, to Wagontire, Oregon.
• Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver to Skihist Provincial Park.

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.