Several more rounds of heavy rain will drench parts of the South the rest of the week, leading to potential flash flooding.
A frontal boundary stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Southeast Coast will remain stalled over these regions possibly through the weekend. Waves of energy moving along the front will tap into abundant moisture and energy, producing thunderstorms and torrential rain.
It began Tuesday in South Carolina, with flash flooding in the Myrtle Beach and Florence areas, but this could happen in many more spots over the next several days. The National Weather Service has flood and flash flood watches posted in Florida from Panama City to Lake City, Ocala and Gainesville; as well as most of eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk, Jacksonville and New Bern.
Some places, including those recently hit by heavy rain, could see at least 6 inches of total rain through Sunday. These spots will be especially prone to flash flooding due to the saturated ground, not to mention their low elevations. Drivers may be temporarily delayed due to high water and ramp/road closures, especially along the Interstate 10 and 95 corridors.
Heavy storms could also develop each day in eastern Texas, including Houston, in addition to portions of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. This would put places like New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah and Charleston under the gun. The NWS may issue flash flood watches in these areas if it looks like the rain will be heavy enough.
Other areas of potential flooding
Downpours are forecast to soak parts of New England from Providence, Rhode Island, to the Boston metropolitan area. The NWS has a flash flood watch in place from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. Some spots could see up to 4 inches of rain, leading to rapidly rising creeks and streams, as well as street flooding.
Monsoonal storms Wednesday could flood northeastern New Mexico, mainly east of Interstate 25. A flash flood watch is in effect through Wednesday evening, including eastern parts of the Santa Fe area. Rain totals may be only 1 to 2 inches, but this could be enough to cause flooding because of saturated ground from recent monsoons. Some of the rain may hit wildfire burn scar areas, so debris flows are also possible.
Impact on freight
Several Southeast freight markets are experiencing tight capacity as of Wednesday morning. The FreightWaves SONAR Headhaul Index (HAUL) clearly shows this. HAUL measures the difference between outbound trucks/loads and inbound trucks/loads, hence measuring demand for capacity.
(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Headhaul Index (HAUL). To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)
Markets in blue indicate higher levels of outbound trucks, like those in the Southeast outlined in yellow on the map above. Typically, markets with high HAUL scores have plenty of loads available for pick up, so this is where carriers want to send their drivers.
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.
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