• ITVI.USA
    15,799.570
    42.680
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    24.420
    0.220
    0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,800.870
    41.790
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.830
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,799.570
    42.680
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    24.420
    0.220
    0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,800.870
    41.790
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.830
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Strong winter storm cranking on cusp of new year (with forecast video)

Worst weather from Great Plains to Great Lakes

A strong winter storm will likely slow down supply chains, freight movement and business operations this week across several states. The highest impacts will hit the nation’s heartland the rest of this week, heading into 2021.

The combination of snow, ice and gusty winds will cause mostly moderate to locally major disruptions to surface and air transportation from the Central Plains to portions of the Great Lakes. Major cities within the potential impact zone include Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Major interstates within this zone include I-80, I-90, I-35, I-39 and I-43.

A mixture of snow and ice has developed across the Plains. The low pressure system producing the adverse weather will slowly drag across the central U.S. Tuesday and Wednesday. Ice buildup of one- to two-tenths of an inch is possible, especially in the southern half of the potential impact zone within Nebraska, Kansas, northern Missouri and northwestern Illinois.

Snow accumulations will be in the range of 3 to 9 inches, depending on exact location, with localized areas of 12-plus inches.

The highest snow totals are expected in Iowa, northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Stronger winds — gusts ranging from 30 to 40 mph — will cause significant blowing snow and occasional whiteout conditions. Additionally, power outages are possible in areas that see ice and/or the strongest winds.

The threat of intense winter weather will linger Thursday into New Year’s Day, from the southern Plains to parts of the Midwest. Some places may be hit for a second time after the Tuesday-Wednesday round.

There’s a good chance that heavy snowfall, gusty winds and icy roads will delay drivers in major cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City; Kansas City; Omaha; Des Moines; as well as Green Bay. Major interstates in the potential impact zone are I-10, I-20, I-35, I-40, I-70, I-80 and I-90.

As of Tuesday morning’s outlook, ice accumulations up to a few tenths of an inch are possible in some spots, with snow accumulations of up to 12 inches. But there’s still some uncertainty in the forecast. Look for updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Other areas of snowfall

Look for periods of moderate to heavy snowfall Tuesday through this weekend across the Cascades and Rockies. Truckers may have issues in the usual trouble spots like Snoqualmie, Stevens and Lookout passes, as well as many other mountain roads.

Other notable New Year’s weather

Thunderstorms could produce tornadoes and severe straight-line winds Thursday and New Year’s Day across the Deep South. Places in the potential line of fire include Houston; New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; in addition to Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also 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 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” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

We are glad you’re enjoying the content

Sign up for a free FreightWaves account today for unlimited access to all of our latest content

By signing in for the first time, I give consent for FreightWaves to send me event updates and news. I can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.