This weekend will get off to a shaky start for truckers in the Northeast as winds intensify.

The large pressure difference between a departing cold front and an approaching high-pressure system will force the air to flow violently at times, producing potentially dangerous winds beginning Friday afternoon.

Gusts of 50 to 60 mph will blow from northwest to southeast across major highways, including Interstate 95. This will make travel dicey in places such as Baltimore; Washington; Philadelphia; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston; as well as Providence, Rhode Island. The winds will create an elevated risk of rollovers, especially for drivers who are deadheading (carrying empty trailers) or hauling light loads.

The high winds are also forecast to slam Delaware, most of New Jersey and parts of Upstate New York, in addition to areas of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island outside the major population centers. This will impact travel on sections of interstates 70, 76 and 81.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued wind advisories and high-wind warnings for the region. They are set to expire late Friday night.

There may be a lot of drivers heading to the Northeast to pick up loads in the Harrisburg and Allentown, Pennsylvania, markets, as well as the Elizabeth, New Jersey, market. According to the latest FreightWaves SONAR data, updated Thursday, these markets rank in the top 10 nationally regarding their outbound tender volume index (OTVI).

SONAR ticker: OTVI tree map

OTVI, a seven-day moving average, is an index value that moves in proportion to the total observable amount of loads being offered by shippers to carriers in each of the 135 markets. The highest OTVI values are located on the left-hand side of the chart above.

Other notable weekend weather

Drivers will hit periods of heavy rain and possible flash flooding Friday and Saturday in southern and eastern Texas. The NWS has posted flash flood watches for the Houston and San Antonio metropolitan areas. Rain totals could reach 5 to 10 inches, with isolated spots exceeding 10 inches.

The threat for heavy rain, in addition to potential severe thunderstorms, moves toward Louisiana and Arkansas Sunday.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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