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Winter Storm Diego still trouble in the South, Snowstorms out west this week

(Photo: TruckStockImages.com)

Truckers will still have to watch out for Winter Storm Diego as snow, sleet, and freezing rain cause more problems today across the Southeast, mostly in North Carolina. Even after the storm ends later today into this evening, many roads will remain slick through the week. Drivers could hit icy patches on I-26 from Asheville to Spartanburg, and on I-40 and I-85 to Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. Black ice will be a bigger concern for at least the next two nights, especially on secondary routes, when slush refreezes as temperatures drop into the 20s. Check for updates on North Carolina road conditions here.

Lots of snow will fall in the Northwest and Mountain Prairie regions this week, especially Tuesday and Wednesday. The heaviest snow will accumulate in the Cascade Range of Washington where many areas above 2,500 feet could get 12 to 36 inches of snow. Up to 12 inches are possible in the Rocky Mountains of northern Idaho and western Montana. This could make deliveries difficult for drivers on I-90 and US-12, including Snoqualmie Pass and White Pass in Washington. Be careful on I-90 in Montana, too, as well as US-2, US-93, SR-37, SR-56, and SR-83 through Bigfork, Eureka, Kalispell, Libby, Marias Pass, Polebridge, Swan Lake, Whitefish. The latest winter weather alerts from the National Weather Service are available on this interactive map.

Winds could be quite strong at times during this storm, up to 45 mph, so blowing snow will reduce visibility in the highest elevations and exposed ridge tops. The winds will also make it risky to deadhead or haul light loads through the region. Later in the week on Friday, another snowstorm could hit some of the same areas mentioned above. Details about this storm still have to ironed out, so look for an update from FreightWaves soon.

During the snowfalls in the Northwest region this week, heavy rain could soak the valleys west of the Cascades from northern California to Seattle, Washington. Minor flooding can’t be ruled out along the I-5 corridor. Rain might be heavy enough at times to limit visibility for drivers. The same problem could develop across the Southeast and Southwest regions Thursday night and Friday. A low pressure system could dump lots of rain along major routes like I-10, I-20, and I-40 across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Thunderstorms could pop, producing sudden gusts of strong winds.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also 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 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” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.
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