Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will likely slam many southern states over the next two days, including areas that were hit by deadly storms the past two weekends. This may not surprise a lot of people; after all, spring is the prime-time severe weather season for this part of the country. Nonetheless, shippers and carriers should expect occasional delays in freight movement as drivers will have to slow down from time to time, encountering possible roadblocks due to high water or downed trees and power lines.
A strong low pressure system spinning over the Texas panhandle will head to the Southeast later today through tomorrow, April 23. This system will likely produce numerous to widespread severe thunderstorms from Texas to South Carolina over the two-day period. These storms could produce many tornadoes – including strong tornadoes of EF-2 strength or higher – as well as intense straight-line wind gusts of 60+ mph, large hail and torrential rainfall.
Today, 3 to 6 inches of rainfall could soak parts of northern Louisiana and western Mississippi, causing possible flash flooding. Tha same could happen tomorrow in portions of Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida with 2 to 5 inches of rainfall likely.
Some of the major metropolitan areas in the potential impact zones include Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Austin, Dallas and Houston, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Macon and Savannah, Georgia; Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina.
Atlanta, Dallas and Houston are three major freight markets with good chances of seeing severe weather, and the Atlanta-to-Houston lane remains busy for freight movement. According to the latest FreightWaves SONAR data, all three markets have high levels of outbound tender volumes (OTVI), despite slight decreases in Atlanta and Houston over the past week.
Atlanta is the largest market, accounting for 4.4% of the nation’s outbound volume. Dallas and Houston are also in the top 10, with a combined 5.7% of the nation’s outbound volume. Also, outbound tender rejections (OTRI) for each of these markets is less than 4%, meaning carriers are accepting a high level of electronically offered loads from shippers.
Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!