After quiet weather across the Great Plains over the past few days, severe storms will fire up beginning later today. Tornadoes, intense straight-line winds, large hail and flash flooding will hit portions of several states, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois.
A strong cold front will move from northwest to southeast through the nation’s heartland from late this afternoon through tonight. The front divides cooler, drier air from warmer, more humid air. This clash of air masses will produce severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes, as well as areas of wind damage, large hail and torrential rainfall from across the potential impact zone.
This won’t be a non-stop, all-night event, but areas in the risk zone will be prone to severe weather for a period of time. Some of the large metropolitan areas in the potential risk zone include Dallas and Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Topeka, Kansas; St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; and Chicago, Illinois.
Besides dangerous crosswinds and occasional low visibility due to blinding rainfall, truckers may run into roadblocks because of flash flooding, or storm damage blocking routes. Some of the worst weather may hit the major freight market of Dallas.
Based on the latest FreightWaves SONAR data updated this morning, Dallas is the fourth-largest freight market in terms of outbound volume. The heat map directly above shows that Dallas is the fourth-largest market in the country in terms of outbound tender volume (OTVI). The highest values appear in the upper left-hand corner of the map, with the lowest values in the lower right-hand corner. Dallas accounts for almost 3.0% of the nation’s outbound volume, lagging behind only Atlanta, Ontario, California and Harrisburg.
Dallas’ outbound volumes are 11.0% lower than a week ago, and have dropped 1.1% from Sunday to yesterday, but it’s still a busy market with an outbound tender rejection rate for dry vans (VOTRI) of only 2.5%. This means that, overall, carriers are still accepting a large percentage of electronically offered loads from shippers. So, plenty of drivers may be arriving in Dallas today. They will want to pick up their loads and be on their way by late afternoon to beat the storms. Otherwise, pick-ups early Wednesday would work.
Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!