Snowstorm lingers into weekend for Midwest, Northeast (with forecast video)

Tractor-trailer moving down snowy road and hillside.

The storm that has been spinning over the Midwest for the past day and a half won’t let go without a fight. Major freight movement disruptions aren’t likely, but drivers will have to slow down at times, and shippers should expect minor delays.

SONAR Critical Events and radar, Friday, Jan. 24, 2019, 10 a.m. EST. Midwest-Great Lakes winter storm threat.

The storm will drop a little more snowfall today across parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri. Tonight, the snowfall gets a bit heavier as it moves into Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, Michigan’s upper peninsula, Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. The snow will gradually fade in these areas tomorrow as it shifts to Detroit, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. In some areas, precipitation may begin as rain/freezing before changing to snow. Most areas won’t see more than 6 inches of additional/new snowfall or much more than a glaze of ice, and the storm should finally exit the region by Sunday night.

Looking at the latest freight market trends in FreightWaves SONAR, Columbus and Joliet, Illinois, two of the top 10 markets in Outbound Tender Market Share (OTMS.CMH and OTMS.JOT, respectively), lie in the path of the storm. OTMS is a relative index that measures the number of accepted loads in individual markets in relation to total accepted load volume for the day in the U.S. The sum of all the markets equals 100. For example, on the chart below, OTMS.JOT equals 2.62. This means the Joliet market originated 2.62% of all U.S. accepted loads today, which ranks as the sixth highest among the 135 freight markets. Columbus’ market share of 2.12% ranks ninth.

SONAR Heat Map List: OTMS

Fortunately, the winter storm won’t be a showstopper. Drivers should be cautious of black ice and snowy roads, especially secondary roads. But widespread lengthy interstate closures are not likely. Carriers should be able to pick up loads in the healthy Joliet and Columbus markets without the weather getting in the way too much.

Spreading the love?

After the storm does its job on the Midwest-Great Lakes, it won’t stop there. Snow and freezing rain will spread into the Northeast tomorrow and Sunday.

SONAR Critical Events and radar, Friday, Jan. 24, 2019, 10 a.m. EST. Northeast winter storm threat.

Up to 6 inches of snowfall will pile up in spots from northern Pennsylvania and upstate New York to interior New England and southeastern Canada. A few localized areas of more than 6 inches are possible. Compared to the impact across the Midwest, winds will be stronger across the Northeast, with gusts potentially reaching/exceeding 40 mph. Fortunately, this storm won’t affect large cities along the I-95 corridor.

Other notable weather

Look for icy spots and periodic snowfall today in the mountains of Idaho, northern Nevada, northern Utah, western Wyoming and western Montana. Drivers will have to chain up and take it slow over Lookout Pass (I-90), Lolo Pass (US-12) and Marias Pass (US-2).

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend, and be careful out there!