After repeated rounds of heavy rainfall pounded the south-central U.S. over the past few weeks, the threat will shift northeastward the rest of this week. This will bring relief to waterlogged areas of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, but it will increase the risk of flooding rainfall in other regions.
A slow-moving low-pressure system that has virtually stalled over the lower Mississippi Valley this week has been drowning parts of eastern Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta since Tuesday. Some spots like Shelby, Mississippi, were drenched with more than 10 inches of rainfall Tuesday, leading to flash flood emergencies. Flash flooding continued Wednesday morning in the region, with high water and closures on several U.S. and state routes.
As the system gradually moves away from these areas later Wednesday, it will produce similar results through Friday in portions of the Tennessee and Ohio valleys and possibly the mid-Atlantic, followed by the Deep South this weekend.
While places such as Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, have received 20 to 25 inches of rain since May 1 — about 3.5 times the normal amount — the Southeast and Ohio Valley have largely dodged excessive rainfall issues. But this could change over the next few days.
With plenty of moisture in the air, some thunderstorms in the Southeast and Ohio Valley, as well as the mid-Atlantic, will be capable of producing torrential downpours, potentially leading to localized flash flooding and road closures in cities such as Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville Tennessee; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, West Virginia; in addition to many parts of Virgina.
Other notable weather this week
High heat continues in Philadelphia; Boston; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Because of the humidity levels, the heat index will be in the mid- to upper-90s again Wednesday.
High winds will make driving dicey for truckers Wednesday from parts of southern Nevada into southeastern California. Gusts up to 60 mph will increase the risk of rollovers along U.S. highways 95 and 395.
Winds will be strong Thursday from southern Montana into Wyoming, impacting travel on interstates 25, 90 and 94.
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.
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