Periods of blinding rainfall this week in the Southeast may stop truckers in their tracks at times.
A slow-moving cold front will move into the Mississippi Valley Tuesday, stalling over southern portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama through Wednesday. The front will lift northward Thursday morning or afternoon, followed by a second cold front moving through the area Thursday night. Drivers should expect multiple rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall during this multiday event, with widespread totals of 4 to 8 inches. Locally higher amounts will be possible.
Areas along the I-10, I-12, I-55 and I-59 corridors will be prone to flash flooding, as well as ramp and road closures. Places in the potential impact zone that are under flash flood watches include New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, Louisiana; Gulfport, Biloxi, Pascagoula and Hattiesburg, Mississippi; as well as Mobile, Alabama. Secondary roads and interstate ramps will be especially susceptible to flooding in these low-lying cities.
Heavy rainfall will soak some parts of the Mississippi Valley farther inland, in addition to parts of the Tennessee Valley. Although rainfall totals may not be as high as areas to the south, there’s still potential for flash flooding in places such as Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; Tupelo, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; as well as Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Thunderstorms may produce severe winds or large hail in a few isolated spots, but the threat will be much higher Thursday. Tornadoes, crosswinds of 60-plus mph and large hail could hit not only the flood-prone areas along the Gulf Coast, but may strike as far east as Knoxville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, as far north as western Kentucky and as far west as eastern Texas.
Look for weather updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.