Stormy Northeast, Sizzling Southwest


Drivers will have to deal with rough, stormy weather and delays in the Northeast late this afternoon and evening, August 21, 2019, while conditions remain very hot in several states from California to Tennessee. Also, Tropical Storm Chantal roams across the Atlantic.

What a mess

SONAR Critical Events: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Scattered severe thunderstorms will develop across the northeastern U.S. this afternoon and tonight as a cold front approaches the region (yellow-shaded area on the FreightWaves SONAR map above). These storms will be capable of producing large hail, very gusty winds and a tornado or two across interior areas, as well as the I-95 corridor. Flash flooding and potential roadblocks may slow down drivers from Philadelphia and New York City to Boston and Bangor.

The severe weather risk zone includes four markets that are currently handling around 10 percent of all the country's outbound freight – Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg and Elizabeth, New Jersey which are circled in red in the FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Tender Market Share (OTMS) map below. OTMS is updated daily and is a measure of a market's share of outbound volume over the past seven days in relation to the rest of the country.

Storms will also pop up from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. into West Virginia, but are not likely to turn severe.

SONAR ticker: OTMS.USA on August 21, 2019.

Scattered thunderstorms will also pop up this afternoon and tonight along a cold front stretching from the Great Plains to the Ohio Valley. A few of these storms could become strong or severe in places such as Denver, Topeka, Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati and towns in between.

It's the humidity!

The heat and humidity will be dangerously oppressive from Oklahoma and eastern Texas to western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. Temperatures will hit the mid- to upper-90s, but thick, "soupy" air will make it feel like 105° to 110° in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Little Rock, Shreveport, Memphis and just about every point in between. Drivers – know the signs of heat illness and spend as little time as possible outside your trucks.

Extreme dry heat continues to bake the Desert Southwest today. A record high for August 20 was set in Las Vegas yesterday when the mercury rose to 113°. High temperatures will again peak between 110° and 115° from Phoenix and Yuma to Las Vegas and southeastern California. A few spots could top out near 120°.

Tropical update

SONAR Critical Events: Tropical Storm Chantal, Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Last night, Tropical Storm Chantal became the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. As of 5:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Chantal was centered around 1,250 miles northeast of the island of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph with higher gusts, and tropical storm force winds were reaching up to 60 miles away from the eye. Chantal may get a bit stronger over the next couple of days, but any increase in winds should be minimal. The storm will meander into the north Atlantic, posing no threat to any land masses. However, ocean cargo to the East Coast of the U.S. may be slightly delayed if vessels have have to steer around Chantal.

Have a great day, and be careful out there!

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