More Southwest sogginess
Today, September 25, will be a fairly quiet weather day across the continental United States with only a couple of areas of disruptive weather.
A few severe thunderstorms may produce large hail, gusty winds and/or heavy rainfall today from Kansas and Oklahoma into Missouri and Arkansas. The same goes for southeastern California and southern Arizona. This may slow down drivers at times on portions of I-8, I-10, I-35, I-40, I-44 and I-49, affecting areas such as Topeka, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Springfield (Missouri), Ft. Smith, Little Rock, Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson and El Centro.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is keeping a Flash Flood Watch in place for target areas in the Southwest. Showers and thunderstorms will increase in aerial coverage this afternoon, lasting through Thursday afternoon, September 26. Multiple rounds of rainfall are possible along with torrential rainfall rates exceeding one inch per hour. This may happen in areas where heavy rain has already saturated the ground this week. Flash flooding will likely result in rapidly rising water levels, road closures and potential rock slides in mountain areas.
The Texas Department of Transportation tweeted this morning that it has opened part of the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River near Houston. The bridge was damaged by barges that broke loose from their moorings during last week’s major flooding.
Union Pacific (UNP) service outages continue in the Beaumont, Texas area due to last week’s major flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. Keep in mind that this may also affect other carriers that share tracks with UNP in this region. Customers with shipments moving through this area should expect delays of 48-72 hours.
Tropical Storm Karen has moved north of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has canceled Tropical Storm Warnings for these areas. However, heavy rainfall and flash flooding may continue there today.
It’s still too early to tell if Tropical Storm Karen will eventually take a turn to the left and make a U.S. mainland landfall, perhaps in a week or so. It’s not the likeliest scenario, but wouldn’t be impossible. We will continue to keep tabs on Karen.
An unusually strong winter-like storm could hit the northern Rockies this weekend with blizzard conditions. The NWS has already issued a Winter Storm Watch for portions of northwestern Montana, where total mountain snow accumulations of one to three feet could pile up Friday evening, September 27 through Sunday afternoon, September 29. Wind gusts could reach 40 mph, and the storm could also produce record-breaking cold temperatures with wind chills of zero to 15° above zero. High elevations of northern and eastern Idaho, as well as northwestern Wyoming, may also see snow from this storm. Look for updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.
Have a great day, and be careful out there!