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Truckers’ week off to snowy start in Mountain West

Up to 12 inches possible in some high elevations

(Photo: Montana DOT)

Drivers heading through the Rockies of Montana and Wyoming will hit late-season snowfall the next two days.

A fairly potent low-pressure system will trigger wet snow or a rain-snow mix across the region Monday and Tuesday. Accumulating snowfall will mainly impact drivers over mountain passes above 5,000 feet in elevation. Places in Montana such as McDonald Pass (U.S. Highway 12), Homestake Pass (Interstate 90), Rogers Pass and Logan Pass could see some of the highest snowfall totals, with 8 inches or more. Other high elevations around Missoula, Helena and Great Falls could see up to 12 inches, as well as the mountains of northwestern Wyoming.

A pocket of snowfall will also develop Tuesday across the Black Hills of western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. The forecast is calling for up to 6 inches piling up.

This isn’t a major storm, but it’s a decent snowfall for early April. Drivers should expect minor delays.

Other notable weather this week

Hot and extremely dry conditions continue in the Desert Southwest and Four Corners regions. Relative humidity in many areas will be less than 10%, with winds gusting to 40 mph. This could spark new wildfires, with winds quickly spreading new and existing fires. These places are in an “exceptional” drought, the worst category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

On the other end of the spectrum, look for areas of heavy rainfall and potentially severe thunderstorms for the second half of the week across the eastern half of the country. Look for weather updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

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.