A storm is coming

WeatherMap: Afternoon Imelda update

General rainfall forecast through Thursday.
Pivotal Weather

Well since this morning our tropical blob grew up into Tropical Storm Imelda, which lasted all of about an hour over the water before moving inland near Freeport. Right now the center of the storm is in Brazoria county, moving generally northward into Harris county.


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Rain bands will continue to move in over the area for the next few hours further saturating the grounds. Given the storm's position and speed I am becoming a little more wary of what is called a "core rain event." I mentioned this in my post this morning and it is basically where heavy rain consolidates around the center of a tropical low after sunset, and right now the center looks to move directly over Houston this evening. While I am NOT saying the entire city will see flooding tonight, I think that at the very least some street flooding is looking increasingly likely tonight into the wee hours of tomorrow morning. The models have held firm on 8-10 inch rainfall amounts around Houston and east towards Beaumont between now and Thursday evening but are still dropping 15-20 inch bombs on isolated areas. I feel like a broken record saying this now, but we just can't tell you exactly where those isolated spots will be. My best guess is somewhere near I-10 plus or minus a few miles to the north or south between Katy and Beaumont.


European model for total rain through Thursday afternoon.

I struggled with whether to include the above computer model image but I decided it was worth it to show the potential area of concern and also to show how sharp the gradient will be between a good lawn watering and something more disruptive.

As I said this morning, any one spot in the area has a relatively low chance of seeing those 15-20 inch amounts, however no spot as a 0% chance. I know it is frustrating to not have definitive answers but these systems are notoriously difficult to forecast when it comes to pin pointing bulls eyes.

As the center of circulation drifts north of town I believe we will see a bit of a break tomorrow morning into tomorrow afternoon. After that models are showing another band of heavy rain developing across the area later on Wednesday, but let's get through tonight before getting into that.

You can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick

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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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