Severe storm, tornado threats continue across the South (with forecast video)

Tractor-trailers going down highway with lightning in the sky ahead.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will likely slam many southern states over the next few days, including areas that were hit by deadly storms the past two weekends. Shippers and carriers should expect occasional delays in freight movement as drivers will have to slow down from time to time, and they may hit roadblocks due to flash flooding or storm damage.

SONAR Critical Events and radar: Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m. EDT; Severe thunderstorm risk areas

A strong low pressure system will track from the Plains to the Southeast over the next few days. Today, it will spin over the southern Plains, producing scattered severe storms across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to Wichita Falls, Texas and the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The main threat from these storms will be large hail, but a few spots could see damaging winds, and an isolated tornado could pop up somewhere in the threat zone.

Tomorrow, April 22, the severe weather threat increases, shifts eastward and covers a larger area. Explosive winds, large hail, isolated tornadoes and torrential rainfall could strike areas from Oklahoma City to Dallas and Austin, Texas, over to Little Rock, Arkansas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi.

By Thursday, April 23, the risk for severe weather shifts eastward again and intensifies, potentially becoming the most dangerous weather day this week. Numerous severe storms and scattered tornadoes could strike from Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama to Jacksonville, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia, the nation’s largest freight market.

Keep in mind that flash flooding could lead to road/ramp closures during these storms on any given day.

SONAR Ticker: OTMS Tree Map

Drivers will have to deal with periods of torrential rainfall and severe storms along the busy Atlanta-to-Houston lane, and severe storms may directly hit the Houston market itself. Together, Atlanta and Houston account for almost 7.0% of the nation’s outbound tender market share (OTMS), according to FreightWaves SONAR. As mentioned earlier, Atlanta is the number one market in the country, accounting for 4.3% of the nation’s outbound freight. Because it’s the largest market, it appears in the far upper left-hand corner of the SONAR Tree Map above. Houston is the seventh-largest market, with around 2.5% of the nation’s outbound volume.

Other weather this week

Severe storms with strong winds could hit parts of the Interstate 95 corridor later today and tonight, from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to Hartford, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island. Rain will change to snow tonight in northern New England.

Moderate to heavy valley rainfall and mountain snowfall will return to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow, moving into the northern Rockies on Thursday, April 23.

Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!