Nasty storms will probably delay truckers again Tuesday from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes, across parts of the Mountain Prairie and Midwest freight regions.
Freight regions. (Source: FreightWaves)
Storms have been relentlessly battering parts of these regions for weeks, causing damage almost every day since mid-June.
Just yesterday, wind gusts of 60 to almost 80 mph blew down trees and knocked out electricity in communities in 10 different states, according to reports received by the National Weather Service (NWS). Many of the wind reports came from the Mountain Prairie states of Colorado and Wyoming.
Portions of Colorado will be under the gun again Tuesday, as well as the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, much of Kansas, southern and eastern Nebraska, northern Missouri, most of Iowa, northwestern Illinois, southern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin.
A slow-moving frontal boundary, along with plenty of warmth and humidity, will trigger thunderstorms. Wind shear – increasing wind speed with height and/or changes in wind direction with height – plus much colder air aloft will transform some storms into supercells, which are thunderstorms that contain strong rotating updrafts. Supercells often produce tornadoes, destructive straight-line winds and large hail. However, the primary threats for Tuesday are wind and hail. The NWS expects only a few tornadoes to touch down.
The NWS classifies a thunderstorm as severe if it produces any of the following based on radar or eyewitness reports:
• Winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots).
• Hail at least 1 inch in diameter (quarter size).
• A tornado.
Severe storms don’t typically cause major/long-term disruptions in freight movement on the roads unless there’s an accident, but drivers should expect at least minor delays where they run into these storms. Conditions can change quickly and may catch drivers off guard if they aren’t prepared.
Some of the cities in the potential impact zones include, but are not limited to: Denver, Colorado; Amarillo, Texas; Guymon, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Ohama, Nebraska; Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; Rockford, Illinois; Rochester and Minneapolis, Minnesota; and La Crosse and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Wednesday, the threat for severe storms shifts slightly to the south and east but also diminishes. Some of the same areas at risk Tuesday could get hit again, in addition to places like St. Louis; Indianapolis; and the busy Joliet, Illinois market, near Chicago.
Joliet has one of the highest levels of volume of the 135 markets in the country. On the SONAR map of the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI), directly above, Joliet is shaded in dark blue and circled in red. The darker the blue, the higher the value, meaning there’s plenty of freight there being offered by shippers.
The good news about Wednesday’s severe storms is that they should be quite isolated, so they won’t hit as many spots as Tuesday’s storms.
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.
It doesn’t take a storm to inundate the coast with potentially ruinous floodwaters.
„Nuisance” or „sunny day” high-tide flooding is becoming more commonplace across the US, and a federal report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that such flooding will worsen in the decades to come as seas continue to rise.
“America’s coastal communities and their economies are suffering from the effects of high-tide flooding, and it’s only going to increase in the future,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.
As sea-level rise continues, damaging floods that decades ago happened only during a storm now happen more regularly, such as during a full-moon tide or with a change in prevailing winds or currents, according to NOAA.
Although not mentioned in the report Tuesday, seas are rising due in part to climate change: According to an online NOAA fact sheet, „the two major causes of global sea level rise are thermal expansion caused by warming of the ocean (since water expands as it warms) and increased melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets.”
In a press call with reporters Tuesday, LeBoeuf said that „climate change and carbon emissions are a factor at play when we look at how tides are rising.”
In 2019 alone, 19 locations along the East and Gulf Coasts set or tied records where rapidly increasing trends in high-tide flooding have emerged, NOAA said.
“Evidence of a rapid increase in sea-level rise related flooding started to emerge about two decades ago, and now is very clear,” the report said. “NOAA’s National Weather Service is issuing record numbers of watches (and) warnings for coastal flooding. This will become the new normal unless coastal flood mitigation strategies are implemented or enhanced.”
Last year, the Southeast saw a threefold increase in flooding days compared to 2000. For example, Charleston, S.C., had 13 days where flooding reached damaging levels, compared to the only two days that were typical in 2000.
And along the western Gulf Coast, percentage increases were the highest, greater than five-fold. In Texas, Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi had 21 and 18 flooding days in 2019, and in 2000 those locations would typically only experience about one and three days, respectively.
„As a Chesapeake Bay resident, I see the flooding first-hand and it is getting worse,” said William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer with the National Ocean Service and lead author of the report. „Records seem to be set every year. Communities are straddled with this growing problem.”
By 2030, long-term projections show seven to 15 days of high-tide flooding for coastal communities nationally. By 2050, it rises to 25 to 75 days, suggesting high-tide flood levels may become the new high tide.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coastal flooding will continue to increase, NOAA report says