Much of the U.S. is facing potentially hazardous weather conditions today, and they are expected to continue into tomorrow.
Snow, flooding caused by heavy rainfall, and high winds are complicating travel for truckers in several regions. A wintery mix overspreads most of the country while parts of the deep south could face tornadoes.
The National Weather Service today said, "Widespread hazardous weather impacts are expected for the eastern third of the U.S. ... and numerous warnings and advisories are now in effect from the local NWS forecast offices. One of the big things making weather headlines will be the widespread expanse of heavy rain capable of producing flooding from the Florida Panhandle all the way north to southern Maine."
- Blizzard conditions are possible in the Plains and Midwest
- Damaging wind gusts could lead to widespread power outages in the Northeast along with the risk of flooding
- Severe weather, including the threat of tornadoes, is possible in the Southeast
The severe weather and difficult driving conditions are expected to continue into Wednesday.
Snow and high winds closed Interstate 80 in central to western Nebraska today. Westbound lanes of I-80 are now open but eastbound lanes remain closed. Troopers there say they have responded to some 200 weather-related incidents.
The National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York said a wind gust of 74 mph was reported in Dunkirk late this morning.
A speed reduction of 45 mph is in place on the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) from Exit 50 (Niagara Falls - I-290) to the Pennsylvania border, and on the Niagara Thruway (I-190) between I-90 and Exit 22 (Route 62) until further notice.
In addition, empty trucks/trailers and all tandem trucks are banned on certain routes throughout Western and Central New York, and the North Country.
- Western NY: Beginning at 10 a.m. today: Buffalo Skyway (NY 5), US 219, NY 400, I-190 (Niagara County: North Grand Island Bridge to Lewiston/Queenston Bridge), I-290, I-990 Kensington Expressway (NY 33), & I-86 (Chautauqua/ Cattaraugus Counties only)
- Central NY/North Country: Beginning at noon today: I-81 between I-90 (Syracuse) & Exit 49 (Jefferson County)
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel has a Level I advisory in place. Speed is limited to 45 mph and no passing is allowed.
Looking ahead, the National Weather Service is forecasting the coldest temperatures of the winter will arrive over most of the country starting Monday, Jan. 15. Sub-zero temperatures could. be possible for Montana and North Dakota.