Barges moving again on the Mississippi: After several weeks of backups due to ongoing floods, barges are finally able to move up and down the Mississippi. All locks on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers are open, and only one lock in the St. Louis area remains closed. Traffic may still be slow in some areas, but congestion is decreasing and the overall situation is getting better. However, it could take a long time for many sectors of the economy to bounce back.
Stormy in the Plains: Look for another summer day of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms across all regions of the country except the West. Storms could be strong in spots from the Cascades and Rockies to the lower Great Lakes, with a concentration of severe storms—large hail, intense winds and/or flash flooding—from near Denver to around Minneapolis and La Crosse. This may slow down drivers on portions of I-29, I-80 and I-90.
Tropical update: Over the weekend, Tropical Storm Barbara became the second named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, moving west toward the central Pacific. As of early this morning, maximum winds were 65 mph but are forecast to become Category 1 hurricane strength (at least 74 mph) sometime today. By mid-week, Barbara may be a major hurricane (Category 3 of stronger), and by early Friday the storm will be about halfway between Baja California and Hawaii. Ocean freighters will have to steer clear, but Barbara is no immediate threat to any other assets at this time.