Heavy rain will hit several states across the southern U.S. today, October 15. Drivers will have to be careful, and shippers should expect minor delays.
Occasional rounds of heavy rain from Texas to the Carolinas will reduce visibility and slow down drivers at times today and tonight. A frontal boundary will become nearly stationary across the region paired with an abundant flow of Gulf of Mexico moisture. Short bursts of excessive rainfall – three to five inches in some cases – may lead to flash flooding and possible roadblocks.
This threat is mainly for areas along the I-20 corridor – from Dallas, Texas to Florence, South Carolina – and points to the south, including some of the I-10 corridor. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch from southeastern Arkansas and northeastern Louisiana to central Mississippi, This is indicated by the orange shaded-areas inside the red box on the Freight Waves SONAR Critical Events map above. Other areas may be added to the Watch at some point today.
A few thunderstorms could also pop up across the South. Some of these storms could contain isolated spots of large hail, severe winds or a tornado.
Flooding continues in upper Midwest
A mix of rain and snow showers today and tonight will likely make flooding worse on the Red River, which flows along the North Dakota-Minnesota border. This, after snowmelt and runoff following the historic early season snowstorm last week. Several locations are at moderate/major flood stage as the river and its tributaries continue to swell, likely cresting tomorrow, October 16.
Other weather today, October 14
Look for showers and thunderstorms across the Great Lakes later today and tonight as a low pressure system spins over the region. Large hail, severe winds and tornadoes are unlikely, but rainfall may become heavy at times. Some pockets of snow showers could develop, too.
This same system will dump heavy rain across the Mid-Atlantic and New England from tomorrow afternoon through through Thursday. Flooding is possible in coastal and inland areas, and coastal wind gusts could reach 50 mph at times.
A 115-mile stretch of Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) track remains out of service in Missouri between Kansas City and Moberly. This is due to flooding and a logjam that caused the collapse of the Norfolk Southern bridge over the Grand River in Brunswick, Missouri earlier this month.
The collapse of the railroad bridge has resulted in some freight volume shifting to road, specially in the Quincy market. While the logjam that took out the bridge on October 2 came from the northwest direction in the Kansas City market, SONAR data from FreightWaves shows that truckload capacity and volumes have had the greatest movement in smaller markets to the east. Following the heavy rainstorm (RAIN.UIN) on September 28, which resulted in the Grand River rising 20 feet the following day, followed by the bridge collapse, truckload capacity on mid-haul (250- to 450-mile length of haul) lanes jumped 908 basis points to 37.70%. This includes loads to Chicago and Indianapolis, main destinations on the main Norfolk Southern line.
Quincy outbound tender volumes have increased 15.22% in the last two weeks, along with the average outbound length of haul rising 20% to 510 miles over the same timeframe. Carriers are also traveling from further afield to service the increased demand created by the bridge collapse – the average inbound length of haul has spiked 45% to 553 miles this week.
According to Norfolk Southern, repairs on the Grand River Bridge could take another three to four weeks, lasting until early- or mid-November. Even though Norfolk Southern has entered into agreements with interline partners to detour freight traffic around Brunswick, shippers in the Kansas City, Jefferson City and Quincy freight markets are finding truckload capacity to service short-term demand.
Tropical Depression Fifteen (TD-15) is lurking off the western coast of Africa, producing sustained winds of 35 mph. TD-15 should pass over/near the eastern islands of the chain WHAT CHAIN? later today. The depression may become slightly stronger, producing tropical storm conditions (winds of 39 to 73 mph) later today. Then, TD-15 will likely weaken tomorrow, fading to a remnant low by the end of the week.
The depression is expected to produce rainfall totals of one to three inches across the Cabo Verde Islands. Isolated amounts of five inches are possible in the higher terrain, especially across the eastern portions of the islands. This rainfall could cause flash flooding and mudslides.
Have a great day, and be careful out there!