Heavy rain moving through the area. Stay alert for flooding issues.

Wednesday morning weather update

College of DuPage

I'm back with another weather update as this rainy mess associated with a tropical disturbance moves through the area. As expected the rain really ramped up over the metro area right around rush hour (hooray) and will likely be sticking around for a few more hours - probably until at least lunch time. Overnight the Weather Prediction Center (the part of the National Weather Service that monitors excessive rainfall and flooding threats) upgraded the excessive rainfall risk for Southeast Texas to a High Risk. This type of risk level is not issued very frequently which indicates the weather service is very concerned with the potential for flash flooding in the area.

Houston area under High Risk for excessive rainfall according to National Weather ServiceNOAA/NWS/WPC

Thus far the rain has been mostly manageable in the city but very heavy rain and flooding has been reported southwest of town down the 59 corridor near between Wharton and Richmond. The band of heavy rain causing problems southwest of town has been struggling to move much this morning, which is why flooding has become a problem in that area. As I write this a Flash Flood Warning has been issued for areas southwest of Houston until 12:45 this afternoon.

National Weather Service Houston

The general consensus is that this area of heavy rain will eventually swing to the northeast towards the Houston area and points southeast. Recent radar trends do not have me totally convinced it will make it all the way into the greater metro area before weakening, but that is not to say it won't. Computer models have been less than stellar today, but they have been painting coastal areas with 6-10 inches of rain through late this afternoon.With these water-loaded tropical air masses it is often difficult to predict when and where a heavy dump of rain will set up. These heavy storm cells can very quickly flood streets with rainfall rates of 3-5 inches per hour having already been observed. So while it may be ok where you are presently, if one of these cells moves over you water may rise very fast.

Radar animation over the past hour and a halfGR Level 3 Radar

Overall I would say the threat is lowering for areas north and east of 59 but points near 59 and to the south and east need to continue to be prepared for heavy rain through at least mid-day.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome