Winter storm closes I-80 in Wyoming and moves northeast


It’s time for truckers to get those tire chains out and check the forecast for winter storms, especially in Washington State, the Northern Plains, and the Mississippi Valley.

A winter storm looms over Wyoming, causing several road closures. At noon local time on Friday, the Wyoming Department of Transportation is reporting the following weather-related closures:

  • Interstate 80 (one direction open in some sections).
  • State Route 30/287 between Interstate 80 Walcott junction and the divided freeway at kilometer 308.
  • State Route 59 between State Route 94 at Douglas and Edward Road at kilometer 67.
  • State Route 22 (Teton Pass) near the Idaho state line. No trailer traffic
  • State Route 430 between Rock Springs and the Colorado state border.

WYDOT reminds motorists that it prohibits parking on the roadway, even during winter closures. Up-to-date closures are available on WyoRoad.info.

Weather forecast for Saturday morning. Blue indicates the risk of snow while green indicates the risk of rain. (Source: NOAA)

Meanwhile, in Washington State, winter conditions are forcing vehicles to chain.

Interstate 90 eastbound near North Bend was closed Thursday after several crashes. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, many vehicles did not need tire chains. The I-90 Eastbound was reopened upon release. However, vehicles must have chains, with the exception of all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. WSDOT recommends traction tires on I-90 westbound.

Chain laws vary from state to state. Some states require them, others do not. Among the states that require tire chains, there are more rules about what, where, and when. For the full list of state channel laws, click here.

Friday afternoon, WSDOT is not reporting any major closings.

The winter storm that hit Wyoming is moving east / northeast toward northern Michigan. According to the National Weather Service‘s short-term forecast, a patch of snow is expected to cover most of Nebraska on Friday. Northwestern Iowa, the southern half of Minnesota, most of Wisconsin and northwestern Michigan are also in the pipeline.

Beginning Friday evening, a large swath of the Mississippi Valley is expecting precipitation. The forecast calls for precipitation of some sort for most of the United States east of the Mississippi River. However, it will likely be rain, not snow. LL


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