• ITVI.USA
    13,583.140
    -29.970
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.100
    0.790
    3.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,553.100
    -25.380
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    0.060
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.190
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.400
    0.180
    14.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.730
    0.160
    6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.440
    0.040
    2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.870
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,583.140
    -29.970
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.100
    0.790
    3.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,553.100
    -25.380
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    0.060
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.190
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.400
    0.180
    14.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.730
    0.160
    6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.440
    0.040
    2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.870
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Thunderstorms could flood parts of US this week (with forecast video)

Several inches of total rainfall possible

Heavy thunderstorms could flood parts of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast from time to time this week. Truckers will be delayed by periods of torrential rainfall and potential road closures.

SONAR Critical Events and radar: Monday, July 20, 2020, 7 a.m. EDT

A series of fronts, plus plenty of summer heat and humidity, will provide ample energy for thunderstorm development each day in places across the eastern two-thirds of the country.

With lack of a strong jet stream to steer these systems at a steady cadence, the fronts may stall at times, prolonging the lives of some storms. This is why certain areas could get drenched with intense rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour, leading to flash flooding, in addition to total rainfall amounts for the week potentially exceeding 5 or 6 inches.

The areas most at risk, based on the latest outlook from the National Weather Service (NWS), are from northern Minnesota into northern Wisconsin, eastern Kansas into western and central Missouri, as well as the southern Appalchians. This includes, but is not limited to places such as Duluth, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; and western North Carolina, including Asheville.

Heavy rainfall could cause flash flooding in other parts of the country, but the locations previously mentioned will probably be hit the hardest, partly due to storms “training.” Training is when storms hit the same areas over and over again, sometimes on the same day. This burdens drainage systems that are not well-maintained, leading to overflows and flooded intersections. Persistent downpours from training also causes creeks, streams and small rivers to rise rapidly. The water can then flow across roads, leading to possible closures.

Despite the flooding threat and drivers hitting some delays due to the storms, there is one silver lining — the rain will alleviate drought conditions still prevalent in the central Plains. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows parts of eastern Kansas and Missouri in a “moderate drought” or as “abnormally dry.”

While flash flooding will be the main issue, severe storms may pop up in some of the areas that get flooded. Winds of 60 mph or greater and large hail of 1 inch in diameter or larger could damage homes, businesses and property in spots, especially along the Interstate 70 corridor from Denver to Cincinnati.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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