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Dangerous Weekend Flooding Possible For Gulf Coast

Dangerous Weekend Flooding Possible For Gulf Coast

Weekend Weather Woes For Florida

A tropical system will threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast and I-10 corridor – from New Orleans to Clearwater – with gusty winds, heavy rain, storm surge and dangerous flooding. It begins later today, October 18, lasting through Saturday.

SONAR Critical Events: Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen as of October 18, 11:00 a.m. EDT

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT today, the disturbance, known as Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen (PTC16), was centered about 230 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It's producing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, which is low-end tropical storm strength, but the system lacks other characteristics – such as defined center of circulation, or "eye" – for it to be a named tropical storm. However, this could change. The system could also intensify before landfall Saturday, which will most likely happen in Florida between Panama City Beach and St. Marks.

If PTC16 become a tropical storm, it will be named Nestor. But named or not, lives and supply chains will be disrupted this weekend, and significant flooding is likely.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the following areas:

  • Mississippi-Alabama border to Yankeetown, Florida
  • Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River

Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by later today. Gale-force winds of 39 to 46 mph are possible along portions of the U.S. southeastern Atlantic coast U.S. by Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Storm Surge Warning for the following area:

  • Indian Pass Florida to Clearwater Beach Florida

According to the NHC, a Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of "life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations." The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. Storm surge heights could reach three to five feet above ground in the warning area. All NHC alerts are housed inside the FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events platform.

PTC16 is forecast to produce total rainfall accumulations of two to four inches this weekend across the central Gulf Coast, northern and central Florida, and the eastern Carolinas. Isolated amounts of six inches are possible. The silver lining – PTC16 will alleviate some of the drought conditions across the area. But, hopefully, not at a cost.

Other Weather Today, October 18

Bursts of heavy snow and high winds will slow down drivers in the Washington and Oregon Cascades today and Saturday, October 19, as well as some of the northern Rockies in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Through Saturday afternoon, 12 to 24 inches could pile up in areas such as Morton, Ashford, Packwood, Randle, Paradise, Longmire, Mount St. Helens, Wind River Valley, Chinook, Cayuse, and White Pass (on US-12). The highest amounts will likely be above 5,000 feet in elevation.

SONAR Critical Events: Friday, October 18, 10:00 a.m. EDT

Eight to 16 inches of snow could blanket portions of Idaho from tonight through Saturday night. This includes the Centennial Mountains, Lolo Pass (US-12), Galena Pass (SR-75), Pine Creek Pass (SR-31), Stanley and Sun Valley. Meanwhile, look for six to 10 inches in Montana at West Yellowstone, in addition to Bozeman, Raynolds and Targhee passes.

Traffic stopped during snowstorm at Targhee Pass near West Yellowstone, Montana in February 2019. (Image: Donny Gilbert/FreightWaves)

Strong crosswinds from the west gusting at 60 to 65 mph will give truckers a hard time on I-15 in Montana, north of Great Falls. The threat lasts through this evening. This includes areas from Conrad to Cut Bank, up to the Canadian border. Strong gusts will also spread across a large area from eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska into Iowa and southern Minnesota.

Winds will be rough Saturday night and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from southeastern Wyoming into the Nebraska Panhandle. This affects sections of I-25 and I-80 from Cheyenne and Laramie to Scottsbluff. Gusts could top out at 70 mph.

Additional Notes

A 115-mile stretch of Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) track remains out of service in Missouri between Kansas City and Moberly. This is due to flooding and a logjam that caused the collapse of the Norfolk Southern bridge over the Grand River in Brunswick, Missouri earlier this month. 

The collapse of the railroad bridge has resulted in some recent freight volume shifting to trucks, especially in the Quincy, Illinois market. The current estimate is mid-November for repairs to be complete and service restored. Norfolk Southern has entered into agreements with its interline partners to detour freight traffic over alternative gateways through the duration of the outage.

Have a great day, a wonderful weekend, and be careful out there!

Image Sourced from Pixabay

Posted-In: flooding Freight Freightwaves Logistics Supply Chain texasNews General


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