Stormy week may slow down freight flows across the South (with forecast video)

Tractor-trailer heading down highway with lightning in the sky ahead.

The South won’t catch much of a break from potential severe weather this week. After deadly tornadoes on Easter Sunday, followed by additional tornadoes yesterday, severe storms may strike from Texas and Oklahoma to Georgia over the next few days. Shippers and carriers should expect at least minor 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: Monday, April 20, 10 a.m. EDT

There’s still a risk for severe thunderstorms today across central Florida, including the cities of Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach. This will affect portions of interstates 10, 75 and 95.

A cold front will move through the southern Plains tomorrow, April 21, sparking strong to severe thunderstorms from northern Texas into Oklahoma. Isolated tornadoes could spin up, but strong wind gusts and large hail are more likely from Amarillo and Wichita Falls, Texas to Oklahoma City, with slick conditions on I-27, I-35, I-40 and I-44.

On Wednesday, April 22, the severe weather threat shifts a bit eastward and expands. Intense winds, large hail, tornadoes and torrential rainfall could strike areas from Oklahoma City and Dallas to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and possibly Memphis, Tennessee.

By Thursday, April 23, storms may shift to Alabama, Georgia and the rest of Tennessee. However, at this time, it’s too early to determine whether storms will be strong or severe enough to cause damage. At minimum, heavy rainfall will force drivers to slow down or possibly stop at times. This includes Atlanta, the number one freight market in the country in terms of outbound tender volume (OTVI), according to FreightWaves SONAR. Atlanta accounts for 4.2% of the nation’s outbound freight, the highest outbound tender market share (OTMS) of all 135 markets.

SONAR Ticker: OTMS Tree Map

Other weather this week

Strong crosswinds may give drivers trouble today on I-90 in South Dakota, especially those deadheading or hauling light loads. Winds from the northwest could gust up to 45 mph, and the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind advisory for the area.

Periods of moderate to heavy valley rainfall and mountain snowfall could return to the Pacific Northwest by mid-week. Early computer model projections show up to 12 inches of snow accumulation possible for portions of the Cascades and northern Rockies from Wednesday, April 22 through Friday, April 24. This is a preliminary forecast, so look for updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

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