Heavy snowfall and serious winds Tuesday and Wednesday will continue to slam parts of California and the Rocky Mountains. Deadheading (hauling an empty trailer) and carrying light loads will be very risky for truckers.
The combination of a strong backdoor cold front — a cold front that moves toward the west rather than the east — along with ample atmospheric moisture will allow snowfall to continue across the Four Corners region. Several inches to around a foot could pile up in the high elevations of southeastern Utah, eastern Arizona, northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
This will potentially impact drivers on Interstates 25 and 40, in addition to U.S. Highway 550 (the Million Dollar Highway). The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of southern Colorado. The storm will fade by Tuesday evening, but more snow could return to some of these areas by Friday or Saturday.
High winds will remain a threat Tuesday from eastern California to far western Nevada. Gusts will reach 40 to 60 mph in portions of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as the foothills of the Sierra Nevada; 60 to 80 mph in mid-elevations of the Sierra Nevada; and 80 to 100-plus mph along the Sierra Crest. Truckers will have trouble on I-80 and U.S. Highway 50 in places such as Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Incline Village and Stateline.
Trailers may also be swaying Tuesday in the San Francisco metropolitan area, as well as the Los Angeles and San Diego areas Tuesday and Wednesday. Winds could be problematic in the valleys, canyons and mountains, with gusts reaching 40 to 80 mph, depending on locations and elevation.
Drivers should also watch out for high winds the next few days in southeastern Wyoming, central and western Montana, southern Nevada and southeastern California, in addition to southern New Mexico and far western Texas.
Other notable weather
Lake-effect snowfall will persist Tuesday and part of Wednesday in western New York. Drivers may hit delays on I-81 and I-90 in Buffalo, Orchard Park, Oswego, Watertown and Jamestown. Rochester and Syracuse are on the bubble as far as receiving heavy accumulations.