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Truckers face ongoing rollover risk in windy Plains

Gusts of 50 to 75 mph likely in many areas

Truckers will face another day of high winds in the Plains and northern Rockies.

Blustery conditions were common Sunday and Monday in large portions of the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, blowing over tractor-trailers in spots. Gusts of 50 to 75 mph will keep the risk of rollovers elevated in these areas Tuesday, and the National Weather Service has high-wind watches and warnings posted.


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Places in the impact zone include, but are not limited to, Bismarck, North Dakota; Pierre and Rapid City, South Dakota; Glasgow, Billings, Havre, Bozeman, Great Falls, Cut Bank, Butte and Missoula, Montana; Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Pocatello, Idaho; as well as Laramie, Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming.

Along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana, wind gusts could exceed 90 or 100 mph over some mountain passes, like Logan, Rogers, Marias, MacDonald and Kings Hill.

Snow squalls could develop Tuesday morning in parts of Montana, then again during the afternoon. These are sudden bursts of intense snow accompanied by strong winds. Snow squalls can reduce visibility to zero in a matter of seconds and can last for 30 to 60 minutes.

There’s a large pressure difference between low pressure moving into the Plains and high pressure entering the Northwest. This is squeezing the air at a fast pace, creating the excessive winds, which should slacken Wednesday as the high pressure takes over.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 15 from Pocatello to Idaho Falls.
• Interstate 25 from Cheyenne to Casper.
• Interstate 80 from Laramie to Rock Springs, Wyoming.
• Interstate 84 from Pocatello to Twin Falls. • Interstate 90 from Missoula to Pierre.
• Interstate 94 from Jamestown, North Dakota, to Billings.

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.