This weekend is the beginning of a multi-week cold front sweeping across the Midwest and Northeastern USA. Between today and January 31st, temperatures will reach 10-15°F lower than normal winter lows and will cause high-impact icing on major lanes. By understanding this new weather pattern, you can decrease freeze risk this weekend and in the future.
According to the Riskpulse® Chief Meteorologist, Jon Davis, this weekend’s snow storm will have a “major impact—likely the kind we will be talking about for years to come.”
The storm will begin today (Friday) and will continue until Monday. Its power will intensify as it crosses the country from West to East. The Northeastern region will experience the most impact with snow totaling 8-10 inches in major cities like Boston and New York. In addition to the snowfall, an Arctic Cold will move in behind the storm causing high winds and icing. By Monday, the storm is expected to subside.
The impact of the storm includes high-impact icing events through the East Coast, starting near Harrisonburg and moving north toward Eastern Massachusetts. With a half-inch of ice, lane closures are to be expected over the weekend. Roads will likely begin to reopen between Monday and Tuesday as the storm impact wears off.
Northeastern Lanes Impacted
Most lane closures are expected to occur during the day Sunday into early-Monday.
I-90: 511 high risk miles
I-95: 415 high risk miles
I-81: 365 high risk miles
I-80: 302 high risk miles
I-95: 286 high risk miles
I-81: 249 high risk miles
I-80 80 high risk miles
I-90: 67 high risk miles
After this weekend’s storm, another is expected to move through the Midwest/Great Lakes region on Tuesday, January 22. The metro areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo will be the most impacted by snow, Artic Cold and the Lake Effect. Periodic conditions of heavy snowfall are expected through February.
How to Avoid Freeze
While rerouting shipments in response to these weather conditions is encouraged, a more proactive approach is recommended for long-lasting operational efficiency. A proactive strategy includes two key elements: (1) Identification of high-risk events at least one week before they occur and (2) the ability to decrease overall risk-level of products on live shipments.
(1) Identify High-Risk Events
Artificial Intelligence software has made the cold chain smarter and safer than ever. Now, high-risk weather events can be forecasted up to 14 days in advance with Sunrise by Riskpulse. The technology assesses the impact on specific lanes and, due to the severity of risk, assigns a “Risk Score” to that lane. Equipped with quantitative data, your team can respond to storms (like the one this weekend) up to two weeks prior.
(2) Decrease the Threat
Unfortunately, damage to perishable commodities can occur at any point along the route, even with AI software like Sunrise. Some of the most common temperature excursions are due to reefer power outages, waiting at terminals, and cross-docking—all are periods where active temperature control is not turned “on”. By utilizing passive temperature protection, such as thermal container liners or insulated pallet covers, overall risk is decreased during transition periods. In fact, our proprietary CargoQuilt® provides freeze protection for CRT and 2-8°C commodities in extreme conditions, including this 2-8°C air freight pharmaceutical shipment.
If you’re scrambling to protect shipments during this multi-week cold front, we recommend speaking with Riskpulse to receive your lane-specific risk score. When your results come back, you’ll be equipped with accurate data to make operational decisions. In the case your lanes are deemed high-risk, passive thermal protection can keep your temperature sensitive commodities in spec (CRT/ Ambient and 2-8°C) for extended periods of time—even when shipping dry.
Get this winter’s full weather report by listening to the entire Riskpulse webinar Winter Storm and Article Cold Update here.