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Flood threat for Houston, Humberto eyeing Bermuda (forecast update)

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Lone Star lament

A weak trough of surface low pressure along the southeastern coast of Texas, paired with an upper-atmospheric low pressure system and abundant tropical moisture will will produce periods of showers and thunderstorms for the next 24 hours, through the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 18. Some of the rain will be locally heavy, especially along and south of a line from Wharton to Houston to Cleveland.

SONAR Traffic: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. EDT.

Rain will be occasionally heavy, slowing down drivers on I-10 due to reduced visibility and potential roadblocks. FreightWaves SONAR shows heavy to severe congestion in the Houston area this morning (map above), possibly due in part to the heavy rain. Widespread rainfall totals will average between one and three inches, with isolated totals of four to six inches possible. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Houston, Galveston, Cleveland, Wharton, Bay City, Pasadena Sugar Land, Texas City and areas in between.

Truckers, please be extra cautious. Do not try to drive into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water may be deeper than it looks. If you do get caught in rising water, abandon your tractor-trailer quickly and get to higher ground immediately.

The one bright side to the rainfall is this – the Houston area needs it! The city has recently become abnormally dry, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

Watch out for plenty of wet weather in the Northwest, too, along the I-5 corridor from Seattle to northern California. Meanwhile, look for light snow or a rain-snow mix across the Sierra Nevada, the northern Cascades of Washington state, as well as the northern Rockies of Idaho, western Montana and northwestern Wyoming. Snowfall should have only minimal impact on interstate travel through these regions.

Severe thunderstorms could pop up from Casper, Wyoming to Rapid City, South Dakota, and Minot, North Dakota. Drivers may run into a few spots of large hail, gusty winds or heavy rainfall on I-90 and I-94 through these areas.

Tropical update

SONAR Critical Events: Hurricane Humberto onTuesday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. EDT.

Hurricane Humberto will not have a major impact on shipping lanes as it continues moving away from the U.S. East Coast. However, minor delays are possible as ocean freighters will have to steer around the storm, which will brush by Bermuda to the north. It’s a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph and could get a bit stronger. Although Humberto will probably not hit Bermuda directly, winds will increase on the island Wednesday and Thursday, and surf will become rough along the southern coast.

SONAR Critical Events: Tropical Depression 10 onTuesday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. EDT.

There’s a high probability that Tropical Depression 10 (TD 10), which formed well south of Humberto earlier today – after recording the attached video at the top – will become a named tropical storm this week. The next name on the list is Imelda. If development continues, this storm may hit some Caribbean Islands, or it could stay north over open waters. This will be a developing story. Look for updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Have a great day, and be careful out there!

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.