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.