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Wintry mess from Rockies to Great Lakes (with forecast video)

A potent wintry storm is making a mess of things from the Mile High City to the Windy City. Snowplows are out, and truckers will likely run into delays.

Some of the heaviest snowfall will continue across the Rockies in central and southwestern Colorado, where the Denver metropolitan area could see an additional 3 to 7 inches through Tuesday morning. Another 8 to 12 inches could pile up in the high elevations along Interstate 70 to the west of Denver. Several more inches of snowfall will accumulate in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, including spots along U.S. Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway. This stretch of road is one of the most dangerous for truckers during snowstorms.

Gusty winds will cause blowing snow and occasional low visibility in some areas. This storm will fade in the Rockies Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, snowy and icy conditions will linger Tuesday across portions of the Midwest and Great Lakes. This will impact several interstate highways and cities such as Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee; South Bend, Indiana; Cadillac, Michigan; and Chicago. Tuesday afternoon and night, most of the precipitation will change to rainfall as temperatures warm up briefly.

Adjacent to Chicago is the Joliet, Illinois, freight market, where weather may be a bit dicey. Many truckers could be trying to arrive there Tuesday to pick up loads. FreightWaves SONAR shows a high Outbound Tender Volume Index in Joliet, appearing in dark blue on the map below (circled in red). This means there’s a lot of freight available there. It ranks seventh out of 135 markets regarding outbound volumes.

SONAR ticker: OTVI map with forecast radar, 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

Also happening Tuesday night and Wednesday — a snowstorm will get cranking across the Northwest. Heavy snowfall and gusty winds will hit the Cascades of Washington and Oregon, as well as the Blue Mountains in Oregon.

Look for 6 to 12 inches of snowfall along Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, U.S. Highway 2 over Stevens Pass and the Mount St. Helens area. The Blue Mountains will see 6 to 10 inches, affecting parts of Interstate 84.

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.