High-wind threat continues for Plains truckers

After a very windy Monday from Montana to Wyoming, the threat shifts eastward for Tuesday, as does the risk of rollovers for truckers.

Peak gusts Monday in Montana ranged from 50 mph in Helena to 81 mph in Cut Bank. In Wyoming, Cheyenne reported a peak gust of 53 mph, with gusts topping out at 60 mph in Torrington.

Tuesday’s gusts are forecast to reach 45 to 65 mph across much of North and South Dakota. The National Weather Service has issued high-wind watches and warnings for these areas, which are set to expire early Monday evening.

Farther south, winds won’t be quite as strong, with gusts raging from 35 to 45 mph across much of Nebraska and northern Kansas. These places are under a red-flag warning due to the winds paired with very dry air and an ongoing drought. Wildfires and brush fires can start easily and spread quickly under these conditions.

With winds from the west and northwest, drivers will hit mostly headwinds or tailwinds on the region’s east-west highways. However, these highways aren’t perfectly straight. Crosswinds will be an issue in areas where these roads curve, as well as on north-south routes.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 70 in Kansas from Russell to Abilene.
• Interstate 80 in Nebraska from Chappell to just west of Omaha.
• Interstate 90 in South Dakota from Mitchell to Sturgis.
• Interstate 94 in North Dakota from just west of Fargo to the North Dakota-Montana border.
• U.S. Highway 81 from Norfolk, Nebraska, to Salina, Kansas.
• U.S. Highway 83 from the North Dakota-Canada border to Maywood, Nebraska.

High winds will also continue to sweep across southeastern Wyoming on Tuesday, especially in the morning. Gusts could hit 65 mph on portions of Interstates 25 and 80 in Cheyenne, Elk Mountain, Bordeaux and Wheatland.

High winds will return to parts of northwestern Montana on Wednesday night and Thursday, with gusts up to 65 mph in Marias Pass, Bynum, Choteau, Browning, Heart Butte, Logan Pass and Cut Bank.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news
Editor: Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist