Truckers will hit more nasty storms and torrential downpours the next few days from the Plains to the Midwest.

Some parts of these regions suffered wind and hail damage the past two days, with more waves of storms lasting through the weekend. Some places could get hit by multiple storms.


Look for scattered to widespread areas of severe winds (at least 58 mph), large hail (at least 1 inch in diameter) and isolated tornadoes Thursday from far eastern Colorado to the Upper Great Lakes. This includes Wichita and Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City, Missouri; the western suburbs of Chicago; Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; the southern suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul; all of Iowa; as well as Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.


The same threats shift southward Friday, spreading across eastern Colorado; all of Kansas; portions of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles; the northern half of Missouri (including Kansas City, Jefferson City and St. Louis again); far southern parts of Iowa and Nebraska; and western Illinois.


The risk for severe storms diminishes Saturday but could pop up in isolated spots from eastern New Mexico and northern Texas all the way to Michigan.


On any given day, it will be raining cats and dogs at times, with rain totals through Saturday of 4 to 6 inches in many places. However, some areas could see up to 10 inches, leading to flash flooding and potential road closures.

Impact on freight

Demand for freight out of the Midwest market is higher than in any other region of the country right now. The map below is a snapshot of the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI), a moving index of the level of outbound loads being electronically offered by shippers to carriers.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Volume Tender Index (OTVI) by region. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

Drivers may head into this region more than the others since they naturally want to go where the freight is. The storms will occasionally slow them down, but delays should mostly be temporary.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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