When it rains it pours
Drivers should expect some delays today across the Great Plains today, August 2. A stalled frontal boundary across the region will be the focus for plenty of rain and scattered thunderstorms. A few storms could reach severe limits from Wichita to Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls, producing isolated spots of large hail and powerful winds. However, the main problem will be periodic downpours hitting some of the same places over and over again – a process called “training.” This could lead to significant flooding. The target area for this happening today is just west of the I-29 and I-49 corridors, from Omaha and Lincoln into eastern Oklahoma. The National Weather Service (NWS) NWS has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area.
The stalled front stretches back to the west and into the Southeast. So, a few areas of flash flooding may also slow down truckers in the central and southern Rockies, and on the I-81 corridor from northeastern Tennessee into Virginia. A tropical wave near Miami may soak portions of the Florida peninsula up to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina today (I-75 and I-95). The flood threat continues across southern Florida this weekend, including the Keys, Miami, Naples, Ft, Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach. Gusty winds and waterspouts may also develop. Drivers: expect weekend delays in these areas of the Sunshine State. In addition, minor/moderate disruptions in ocean shipping lanes are possible along Florida’s eastern coast.
The Milepost 97 wildfire, also called the MP 97 fire is still burning in southwestern Oregon. It now covers 13,000 acres and is 35 percent contained. Some southbound lanes of I-5 are still closed in the Canyonville area, about 45 miles north of Medford. Northwesterly breezes could blow smoke across I-5, reducing visibility at times. Drivers should also expect occasional heavy congestion and delays.
The combination of breezy conditions, very low afternoon humidity in lower elevations, and frequent lightning from wet and dry thunderstorms could spark wildfires in parts of eastern Idaho. The NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area.
These areas of the country have been abnormally dry for weeks, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Erick has weakened to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 mph. It’s about 230 miles southwest of Hilo on the Island of Hawaii, often referred to as “the Big Island.” Heavy rain is already falling at a rate of one to two inches per hour on the Island of Hawaii where a Flash Flood Watch is in effect. Flooding will remain a threat across the Hawaiian islands through Saturday, with localized rainfall totals of four to eight inches possible.
Swells generated by Erick will continue to build across the Hawaiian islands today. This will produce dangerous surf conditions, mainly along the eastern and southeastern facing shores. Erick will not have a major impact on supply chains. However, some disruptions to ocean shipping lanes south of Hawaii are possible.
About 1,000 miles east of Erick is Tropical Storm Flossie, which was once a hurricane. Flossie is projected to move just to the north of the Hawaiian Islands early next week. Flossie will not have a major impact on supply chains. However, some disruptions to ocean shipping lanes east and north of Hawaii are possible.
Have a great day, everyone, and be careful out there!