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Truckers to face Southwest smorgasbord of weather

Areas of heavy rainfall, snowfall, high winds from Texas to California

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Truckers will hit virtually every type of disruptive weather Wednesday in many spots from Texas to California.

First, pockets of freezing rain and snowfall will make roads extra slick from El Paso, Texas, westward to portions of New Mexico and Arizona. Major accumulations are not likely, but it could be just enough to slow down drivers or force them to find other routes. This will impact travel on sections of Interstates 10 and 40.

Next, heavy rainfall will soak parts of southern Arizona and southern California. Totals of 2 to 3 inches could cause flash flooding along I-8, from Yuma, Arizona, to El Centro, California, as well as areas of I-10 around Palm Springs, California.

Finally, high winds will make driving difficult for truckers in the San Diego area, in addition to parts of the Los Angeles area, on I-5, I-8 and I-15. This has been a problem for the past day or two, with gusts exceeding 80 mph in some high elevations. Gusts Wednesday of 60 to 80 mph will make deadheading (hauling an empty van) or carrying light loads risky in spots such as El Cajon, Escondido, Anaheim and Riverside. Gusts will reach 45 mph from downtown San Diego to San Clemente.

Also, look for high winds Wednesday across North Dakota, southeastern Wyoming and central Montana. Meanwhile, lake-effect snowfall will linger in northwestern Pennsylvania and parts of western New York.

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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.