Drivers should expect minor delays today and tonight, August 16, 2019 in the Great Plains and the Southeast. Dry, excessively hot weather will remain an issue, mainly for health reasons, in several western states.
What the hail?
Look for another day and/or night of severe thunderstorms producing large hail, intense winds and/or isolated tornadoes in parts of the Great Plains that have already been hit this week. Most of these storms, according to FreightWaves SONAR, will occur from central Kansas to central Illinois, including I-35, I-55, and I-70 through Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis, and places in between. Periods of torrential rainfall will reduce visibility and could lead to localized flooding/potential roadblocks. Another area of severe storms could develop from eastern Colorado and western Kansas to Cheyenne, Wyoming and Scottsbluff, Nebraska where golf ball-size hail fell yesterday.
A few severe storms with damaging winds and flash flooding could pop up across interior portions of the Northeast, from eastern Pennsylvania to upstate New York.
Who’ll stop the Rain?
A stubborn stationary front remains stalled across the southeastern U.S. This will trigger scattered thunderstorms that may dump very heavy rain in spots from Florida to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Flooding will be possible along the I-10, I-75, and I-95 corridors, and a Flood Watch is in effect for portions of the Sunshine State where soils remain very saturated from above average rainfall accumulations during the past several weeks. Weekend drivers beware: this flood threat will continue on Saturday and possibly Sunday.
The heat wave keeps going today across the Desert Southwest as well as the Central Valley of California. It’s been hotter than normal most of the week. Once again, afternoon highs will reach record/near-record levels of 110° to 115° from Phoenix and Yuma to El Centro and Las Vegas; 105° to 110° from Bakersfield to Redding. Records were either tied or broken yesterday, August 15, in the following California cities:
• Needles: 118°, new record
• Stockton: 107°, new record
• Hanford: 106°, new record
• Madera: 105°, tied
• Sacramento: 105°, new record
• Merced, 104°, tied
These temperatures are about 10 degrees above normal for mid-August. While the excessive heat may not slow down drivers, it could adversely affect their health. So, it’s important to know the signs of heat illness and how to prevent it.
Have a great day, a wonderful weekend, and please be careful out there!