Severe storms, tornadoes returning to nation’s heartland (with forecast video)

Lightning in the sky, tractor-trailers in the distance on a highway.

After a fairly quiet weekend across the Great Plains, Mother Nature will become nasty again starting tomorrow, April 28. Tornadoes, fierce winds, large hail and flash flooding hit parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri last Friday, April 24. The same areas, plus portions of Illinois, Kansas and Iowa, will be under the gun this time around.

SONAR Critical Events: Monday, April 27, 10 a.m. EDT; Severe storm/tornado threat

A strong cold front will move from the northwestern United States into the middle of the country Tuesday through Tuesday night. The front divides cooler drier air from warmer, more humid air. This clash of air masses will produce scattered severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes, as well as areas of wind damage, large hail and torrential rainfall from Texas to the Midwest.

Some of the large metropolitan areas in the potential risk zone include Dallas and Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Topeka, Kansas; St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri; and Chicago, Illinois.

Besides dangerous winds and occasional low visibility due to blinding rainfall, truckers may run into roadblocks because of flash flooding, or storm damage blocking routes. Right now, the outlook shows the worst weather will likely hit from Dallas, a major freight market, into the Arklatex region and Oklahoma.


Based on the latest FreightWaves SONAR data updated this morning, Dallas is the fourth-largest freight market in terms of outbound volume. The tree map directly above shows that Dallas accounts for almost 3.0% of the nation’s outbound tender market share (OTMS), behind Atlanta, Ontario and Harrisburg. The highest values appear in the upper left-hand corner of the map, with the lowest values in the lower right-hand corner.

Dallas’ market share is nearly 12.0% lower than a week ago, but slightly increased over the weekend, from Saturday into Sunday. Despite the recent regression, the Dallas market is still a major player in U.S. freight movement. The current forecast, which is subject to minor changes, has Dallas at a higher risk for severe storms tomorrow and tomorrow night than Chicago, another major market that could see nasty weather during the same time period.

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