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Winter storms, extreme weather slam roads this week

From the East Coast where a major winter storm is hitting across a swath of states to ice, deep freezes and other hazardous conditions across the U.S., many truckers rolling out today are facing traffic slowdowns and difficult, dangerous or even impassable conditions. More is on the way this week.  

The National Weather Service's (NWS) winter storm warnings mean "significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible." With those in place now in large areas of the country and extreme cold gusting over a huge central portion of it, it's likely to be a tough slog for many moving freight on the road this week of 3/4.

Here's a glance at alerts from the National Weather Service: 

Winter storm from Maine to West Virginia (Boston, New York City metro areas particularly)

A snowstorm yesterday into Monday morning is hitting a wide stretch of Eastern states from Maine to West Virginia. Toward the northern end there are larger amounts of snow expected, including up to a foot in Maine.

Heavy snow is expected also in Boston around 10-12 in., while the New York City metro region will see moderate-to-heavy snow along with sleet and freezing rain. Pennsylvania should see snow accumulations in the 3-6 in. range, while at the lower end of the storm, West Virginia will see only an inch or so of snow with some freezing rain.

The Boston area, Rhode Island and northern Connecticut could see the worst of it on the highways, with travel expected to be very difficult overnight and visibility down to a quarter mile at times as snow accumulates quickly on roadways. Expect hazardous conditions as road crews work to clean up the mess into the early morning commute.

Ice could be a factor as temperatures drop and roads glaze over through the night. Watch for slow and dangerous travel conditions. Some of the states have had commercial vehicle restrictions in place during the storm, including in Pennsylvania on parts of I-99 and I-70 Sunday afternoon.

Deep freeze in Midwest 

Across many Midwestern states Monday is a deep cold and wind chill, with high-level gusts and temperatures at dangerous levels that can cause frostbite on exposed skin in minutes. A few windchill warnings NWS is reporting include minus 35 degrees F in Iowa; minus 30-45 degrees F in South Dakota; minus 15-20 in Illinois; and minus 20-40 degrees F in Montana.

There are flood warnings in parts of these states as well, including because of ice blockages stopping up waterways and flooding roads. Watch for deadly cold, ice and wind.  

National Weather Service

Winter storm, floods in Nevada, northern California

A winter storm is likely to impact the Sierra and western Nevada region starting on Tuesday and lasting through Thursday of this week, NWS said. Heavy, wet snow in expected in the mountains along with gusty winds and valley rain showers.

The main concern with precipitation is for areas of northeast California, including Lassen and Plumas counties, where there have already been heavy rains recently. NWS warned that runoff issues are likely in flood prone spots where drains could be blocked.

Winter storm warnings also are in place across areas of central-eastern Nevada.

Snow in northern Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado

More snow is expected through Monday, NWS said, with higher accumulations favoring the northern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. 

The Grand Junction, CO area, meanwhile, will see from about a foot-and-a-half all the way up to 40 in. of snow through Monday. 

National Weather Service

Winter storm on way to Washington and Oregon

Another system will hit much of central Washington and Oregon by mid-week, NWS said, with snow Tuesday night through Thursday night.  

Widespread precipitation is expected Wednesday and into Thursday, to include snow and a wintry mix of freezing rain.

National Weather Service



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