Severe thunderstorm outlook: Thunderstorms will be scattered across the western two-thirds of the U.S. today (June 14) and tonight, with chances ongoing across the entire country through the weekend. The best odds for severe storms producing large hail, damaging winds or isolated tornadoes today are from Lubbock, Texas to eastern Colorado and Wichita, affecting drivers on I-27, I-35, I-40, and I-70. On Saturday, the threat includes these areas again, as well as Omaha, Kansas City and Des Moines. Right now, it looks like most of the severe storms on Sunday will be from central Texas into Oklahoma.
Flooding problems: Flooding continues along the Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas rivers, in addition to their tributaries. Because of this, I-29 is still closed in many areas from St. Joseph, Missouri to US-34 in western Iowa, and from Council Bluffs, to Loveland, Iowa. Also, portions of I-680 are closed from the Nebraska border to the I-29 junction. Several sections of BNSF and Union Pacific subdivisions remain out of service in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
Many locks on the Mississippi River are closed, stopping southbound grain barges originating on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers from reaching the lower Mississippi River. Flood waters have stopped navigation on the Arkansas River, and barge traffic on the Lower Mississippi River has been disrupted by reduced tow sizes and transit being restricted to daylight hours under certain bridges.
Tropical update: Severe Cyclone Vayu is spinning over the Arabian Sea off the coasts of
northwestern India and southern Pakistan. At the moment, the storm isn’t a threat to any ports or oil refineries in the region. However, by early next week Vayu could take a turn back toward land, possibly hitting the port of Mundra, Inida, as well as the Reliance Petroleum Ltd refinery in Jamnagar. If the storm lands farther north, the port of Karachi, Pakistan will be at risk.