Triple threat of tropical weather continues

Satellite animation of Tropical Storm Grace.Satellite animation of Tropical Storm Grace.

Three tropical systems in the Atlantic basin are still causing issues, or potential issues, almost simultaneously. Shippers and receivers should expect possible delays in truckloads, air cargo and ocean freight over the next two to three days.


Tropical Storm Fred made landfall early Monday evening in the Florida Panhandle, flooding several areas and producing wind gusts of almost 70 mph.

After moving inland, Fred’s winds subsided, downgrading its status to a tropical depression. However, Fred continued producing torrential rain, flooding many portions of the Southeast. Fred also produced several tornadoes, mostly across the Carolinas.

Fred is now just a remnant low-pressure system, but truckers shouldn’t underestimate its strength. The system will produce heavy rain, flash flooding and potential road closures Wednesday and Thursday in parts of the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The National Weather Service has flash flood watches posted, which include Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore; Washington; almost all of Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; most of upstate New York; as well as southwestern Vermont. The NWS may post additional watches.

Tornadoes could also pop up, especially from Maryland to central and eastern sections of Pennsylvania. This includes Baltimore, Washington, and Harrisburg, State College and Reading, Pennsylvania.


Tropical Storm Grace caused major flooding and mudslides Tuesday in Haiti and is making a beeline for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. As of 8 a.m. ET Wednesday, Grace was centered just south of the Cayman Islands with sustained winds of 65 mph. By the time it reaches the eastern Yucatan Thursday, Grace could become a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph and gusts up to 100. Flooding, mudslides and power outages are likely in the Caymans and the Yucatan.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for the Cayman Islands, and a hurricane warning for the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The rest of the Yucatan is under a tropical storm warning.

The Cayman Islands and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 12 inches through Friday night.

Storm surge could raise water levels as high as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels in portions of the Cayman Islands. A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5

feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the north of where the center makes landfall in the eastern Yucatan late Wednesday night or early Thursday. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.


Tropical Storm Henri may get closer to the U.S. East Coast than forecasters originally thought. As of early Wednesday, it was centered about 150 miles southwest of Bermuda, with sustained winds of 65 mph.

Tropical storm conditions — sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph —  are possible Wednesday across Bermuda and the nearby waters, particularly to the south of the island.

Swells could increase along the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts by the end of the week. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Related: Logistics groups ready to help during potentially busy hurricane season

July and August are historically the most active months for the Atlantic hurricane season. Look for more tropical updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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