Truckers will face high winds Thursday from the Plains to the Midwest, posing a challenge as they head to several busy freight markets. They won’t be as notoriously strong as frequent winds across Wyoming and the Dakotas, even on clear days, but rollovers will be possible.
A strong cold front moving through these regions won’t produce any rain or snow Thursday, but it will whip up wind gusts of 40 to 55 mph from Kansas City, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, to St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis, in addition to Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. The National Weather Service has issued wind advisories for these areas and places in between, lasting until early Thursday evening. Sustained winds will reach 25 to 35 mph, with prevailing winds from the south and southwest.
Major interstate highways impacted include I-44, I-55, I-57, I-65, I-70, I-71, I-75 and I-94.
Impact on freight
Thursday’s winds will impact drivers heading to several busy freight markets that are under the wind advisories. They include Kansas City, Chicago and Joliet, Illinois; Indianapolis, as well as Columbus. The FreightWaves SONAR map of the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) below supports this.
OTVI measures the amount of loads offered by shippers to carriers. The markets previously mentioned appear dark blue on the map and are among the top 15 highest OTVI values out of 135 markets. In other words, this is where a lot of the freight is, so many drivers may be heading there today to grab loads. If they’re deadheading (hauling an empty trailer) or carrying light loads, the strong wind gusts could cause rollovers.