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Truckers to face another Southern severe storm outbreak

Threat of destructive winds, hail, tornadoes Thursday

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Truckers will face the threat of severe thunderstorms across the South over the next two days. Like the St. Patrick’s Day outbreak, tornadoes could touch down in many places.

A slow-moving frontal system, stretching from the Great Lakes to Texas as of Wednesday morning, will help trigger thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday. Many of these storms, especially Thursday, could produce severe crosswinds of at least 60 mph, as well as large hail greater than 1 inch in diameter and tornadoes.

For Wednesday, severe storms could hit areas from Dallas and Waco, Texas, to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Shreveport, Louisiana.

The general risk zone expands Thursday and Thursday night, including areas from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley. There’s potential for numerous severe storms and tornadoes from Memphis, Tennessee, to much of Alabama and Mississippi, excluding southern sections. Chances decrease outside these areas but still remain somewhat elevated in places like Paducah, Kentucky; Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans; and far eastern Texas.

The National Weather Service received more than 60 reports of tornadoes across the South on St. Patrick’s Day. Most of those tornadoes hit Mississippi and Alabama. This next outbreak could produce a similar result.

The impending storms will drop torrential rainfall at times, possibly stopping truckers in their tracks. Flash flooding is likely, leading to potential ramp and road closures.


Drivers should make sure their cellphones and other mobile devices are fully charged and set up to receive weather alerts based on GPS. This can be done in the settings so truckers will receive alerts no matter where they go.

Look for weather updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is 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 February 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” eight consecutive years.