Barge movement starting to flow: Flooding on the Mississippi continues, but the situation is improving in the St. Louis area where only one lock remains closed. According to the latest Grain Transportation Report from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), barge grain movements on the Mississippi for the week ending June 15 were 29 percent higher than the previous week, but 72 lower than the same period last year. For the week ending June 15, 188 grain barges moved down river, 43 more barges than the previous week; 349 grain barges were unloaded in New Orleans, nine percent fewer than the previous week.
Severe thunderstorms potential: Showers and thunderstorms will be scattered today from the Rockies to the Mid-Atlantic. Storms could become severe in parts of central and western Texas, as well as from the southern Great Lakes to portions of the South, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Atlanta. Drivers may be delayed by torrential downpours/flash flooding, large hail and/or significant wind in these areas.
Sizzling heat: Temperatures will be above normal in southern Texas, where the heat index will reach 110°-115°. In southern Florida it will feel like 105°-110° this afternoon, and from Savannah to Charleston the combination of heat and high humidity will make it feel like 105°. Drivers: Pack plenty of extra ice and jugs of water in your coolers.