Blizzards, Wildfires, Tornadoes Impact Freight This Week

Severe weather across the U.S. this week, including a historic Western blizzard, wildfires, and tornadoes, poses major disruption to freight movement.

Blizzards, Wildfires, Tornadoes Impact Freight This Week

The end of February brings a week of weather extremes across the U.S. From the West to the Midwest, a series of severe weather events, including a historic snowstorm, wildfires, and tornadoes, are converging, raising alarms for potential disruptions in freight movement.

Western Blizzard: The largest snowstorm of the season is poised to bury parts of the Western U.S. under up to ten feet of snow. Interstate routes like I-80 across Donner Pass and Truckee, CA, and I-5 between Castella and Black Butte, CA, are facing "extremely high risk" conditions, with total shutdowns likely, outlines WeatherOptics CEO Scott Pecoriello.

Around midday on Thursday, a semi-truck overturned near Truckee, California, due to the weather, causing that stretch of the highway to close for hours.

Winds could gust over 115 mph at Sierra ridgetops, bringing blizzard conditions that could close major highways and trigger power outages. This severe weather is expected to last through the weekend.

Texas and Oklahoma Wildfires: Massive wildfires are disrupting travel across Texas and Oklahoma, with roadways closed and thousands forced to evacuate. The Smokehouse Creek Fire, one of the largest in Texas history, has already scorched over 850,000 acres. Road closures and smoke hazards are complicating routes for truckers, notably around the Amarillo area and between Borger and Amarillo.

Image Source: Greenville Fire-Rescue/USA Today

Tornado Touchdowns Near Chicago: The Chicago area witnessed severe weather with reports of tornado touchdowns, causing damage to homes and infrastructure. The National Weather Service is assessing the extent, with spotters reporting tornadoes near Inverness, Sugar Grove, and potential funnel clouds near Gary, Indiana.

Image Source: John Houdek/LinkedIn

Sources: WeatherOptics | ABC News | FreightWaves | NBC Chicago

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