A potentially strong snowstorm may take shape across the Western U.S. this weekend. Carriers still have a couple of days to secure loads in markets in the storm’s path where plenty of reefer freight is available.
A strong low-pressure system and connected cold front will continue pushing through the Pacific Northwest, producing gradually persistent rainfall Wednesday and Thursday.
As the front heads to the southeast, very cold air will replace warmer air across the Rockies, the Wasatch Range in Utah, the Dakotas and portions of Minnesota late Friday. Rainfall will change to snowfall in these regions, lasting through the weekend.
The only weather alert that the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued so far is a winter storm watch in Montana. Weekend snow totals of 12 to 24 inches are possible in Logan Pass, Heart Butte, Bynum, Choteau, Cut Bank and places in between. This will impact sections of Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 2.
Roads may be slushy at first in many areas before the transition from rain to snow is complete. Then the slush and snow could freeze onto roads, making them extra slick.
Impact on freight
This potential snowstorm could affect a couple of markets where reefer drivers may be heading to pick up freight. The SONAR Reefer Outbound Tender Volume Index (ROTVI) is at high levels in the Twin Falls and Salt Lake City markets.
Reefers are temperature-controlled trailers used to ship liquids, produce and other perishable items. Elevated ROTVI means shippers are offering abundant reefer loads to carriers. Drivers have a couple more days to pick up these loads before the snowstorm disrupts the opportunity.