Persistent wet weather this week may delay drivers hauling freight through portions of the Southeast.
A “cut off” low pressure system will spin over the region for the first few days of the week, producing periods of heavy rainfall. It’s called a “cut off” low because it’s away from the flow of the jet stream, the upper-air steering winds that move weather systems across the globe.
With the system stalling over virtually the same area for three days, repeated rainfall could cause flash flooding at times from Charleston, South Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia, including the Outer Banks of North Carolina. These areas could see up to 5 or 6 inches of total rainfall over the three-day period.
Areas most prone to flash flooding will be secondary roads and some interstate ramps (mainly Interstate 95), as well as low-lying areas and places with inadequate/clogged drainage systems. High water may also hit a few sections of I-26 and I-40.
As of Monday morning, the National Weather Service has not issued flash flood watches for these areas, but this could change. Watches or not, truckers should expect slower traffic in places.
Periods of rainfall will also drench the Northwest Monday and Tuesday, including the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland. However, the flooding threat is much lower than in the Southeast.
On Wednesday, rainfall could change to wet snowfall in the high elevations of the northern Rockies of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. This would make roads extra slick over some mountain passes. Check chain laws here for the latest updates on winter driving.
Finally, severe thunderstorms may strike the Great Plains Tuesday and Wednesday, from the Dakotas to northern Nebraska and northwestern Minnesota. These storms will be capable of producing isolated tornadoes, large hail and violent wind gusts.
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