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Truckers to hit another week of snowstorms out West

First storm cranks up Monday afternoon in Sierra Nevada

(Photo: Caltrans)

After a few rounds of mostly light to moderate mountain snowfall out West last week, truckers will face more wintry weather in these areas over the next several days.

Fortunately, most of these storms will not likely stop drivers in their tracks, but they will need to be prepared to chain up. The storms will come in waves, and some will be stronger than others.

The first will hit the Sierra Nevada during the first half of the week, with the heaviest snowfall from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday. Look for snowfall totals of 6 to 24 inches in eastern and northern California, depending on elevation, impacting travel in places such as the Mount Shasta region, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Mammoth Lakes, Lake Thomas Edison, Camp Nelson and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Whiteout conditions and a high risk of rollovers will develop at times as wind gusts in some spots reach 50 to 60 mph.

While the Sierra Nevada get slammed, heavy snowfall could hit parts of the northern Rockies in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

This storm could then dump heavy snowfall into the Colorado Rockies and the Wasatch Range in Utah Thursday and Friday.

The usual problem spots for drivers this week include but are not limited to Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, Donner Pass, Carson Pass and McKenzie Pass. The winter storms will also affect I-5 north of Redding, California, as well as sections of I-80, I-84, I-90, and U.S. highways 2, 12, 26, 50, 97, 199 and 395.

Other notable weather

Strong winds will create an elevated risk of rollovers Monday from western Nevada into far eastern California, even in areas that don’t get snowfall.This includes the greater Reno-Carson City area, where gusts could reach 50 to 60 mph, but may hit 75 mph in downwind of some canyons.

Drivers will also run into gusty winds of 45 to 50 mph in western and southwestern Utah Monday, followed by similar winds Tuesday in northern and eastern Arizona, including Flagstaff.

Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall could drench parts of the Plains and Midwest later in the week, with possible river flooding in some areas. Look for updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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.