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Indianapolis, IN

Quiet Monday ahead; rain returns Tuesday

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Quiet Monday ahead; rain returns Tuesday


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Temperatures warm closer to average for much of the work week.

This morning:

A frost advisory remains in effect until 10:00 a.m. for most of the state. Clear skies have allowed for temperatures to fall pretty quickly. As we approach daybreak, numbers should slip into the low to mid-30s across much of central Indiana.

Monday:

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Expect lots of sunshine for the morning hours and a few clouds to build this afternoon. Temperatures should be warmer than what we experienced over the weekend, with highs back to the low to mid-60s across central Indiana.

Monday night:

Clouds will continue to increase tonight, and with warmer air flow, our temperatures should stay above any freezing-level threats. Overnight lows fall to the mid and upper 40s.

Tuesday:

A cold front marching through the state on Tuesday will bring a scattered shower and thunderstorm threat to much of the state, especially in the afternoon hours. Rainfall amounts range around 1/2 an inch or less.

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High temperatures will hover around 60°.

Wednesday:

The cooler temperatures behind the cold front will move in on Wednesday. High temperatures only hit the mid and upper 50s for the afternoon. There is potential for some patchy frost Wednesday night into Thursday morning in the eastern and north-central portions of the state.

8 day forecast:

Wet conditions and warmer temperatures are on the way. An active storm track will bring thunderstorm chances starting Friday and better chances coming in for Saturday and into Sunday as well.

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Indianapolis, IN

Cottonwood pollen set to slow amid wet weekend weather in Indiana

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Cottonwood pollen set to slow amid wet weekend weather in Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As Indianapolis transitions from a spell of rainy days to an upcoming stretch of dry and sunny weather, residents are noticing a different kind of precipitation: fluffy white seeds from cottonwood trees. These seeds, a hallmark of late spring, are now making their annual appearance, creating picturesque scenes at local parks and along city streets.

Cottonwood trees, known scientifically as Populus deltoides, are native to North America. (WISH Photo/Drew Narsutis)

Cottonwood trees, known scientifically as Populus deltoides, are native to North America and thrive in the wet, fertile soils along riverbanks and water sources. Each spring, they release their seeds, which are encased in cotton-like fibers. These fibers help the seeds disperse over a wider area as they are carried by the wind, an ingenious method of propagation that ensures the survival and spread of these towering trees.

The recent warm, dry weather has helped to inflame cottonwood pollen levels but it seems the end of this season is in sight. Not only does it look like the cottonwoods might have gotten most of their pollen out with this recent burst of weather, but some rains coming this weekend look likely to wash away most of the remaining cottonwood pollen. It will of course wash out the regular pollen in the air too.

An abundance of cottonwood fluff can cause problems for people with allergies. (WISH Photo/Drew Narsutis)

While beautiful, the abundance of cottonwood fluff can pose challenges for allergy sufferers and homeowners. The seeds can clog air filters, and the fluff can accumulate on lawns and in gutters. Allergy specialists advise that while cottonwood trees aren’t a major allergen, the fluff can carry pollen from other plants, which can exacerbate allergic reactions during this high-pollen season.

City maintenance crews are prepared for the increase in cottonwood seeds. Regular street sweeping and inspections of public parks are planned to manage the buildup of seeds and ensure that public spaces remain clean and accessible.

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Despite these challenges, many residents enjoy the whimsical quality of the floating seeds. Local parks continue to be popular destinations for families and individuals looking to enjoy the outdoors, even as they navigate the fluffy landscapes created by cottonwood seeds.

As we move into late May, Indianapolis will see the end of cottonwood season. This natural phenomenon, while temporary, offers a unique spring experience that highlights the dynamic and ever-changing nature of our local environment. Hopefully, other spring pollens will soon fade to help outdoor allergy sufferers all across Indiana.



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Rahal Letterman Lanigan searching for speed at Indy | Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan  searching for speed at Indy | Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


INDIANAPOLIS — There was a quiet sort of confidence among the four drivers at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on the eve of Indianapolis 500 qualifying this year.

The team had invested heavily over the previous 12 months, shoring up parts of its program that had fallen behind, and there was a steadfast belief there was speed in their cars.

But by the end of the weekend, Graham Rahal nearly found himself in the exact same spot as last year.

That was when the son of team co-owner Bobby Rahal was bumped from the 33-car field on the final run of qualifying, though he would ultimately race as the replacement for injured Stefan Wilson. And it was then that the elder Rahal told Steve Eriksen, the team’s chief operating officer, “In 30 days, I want a plan for how we’re going to turn this ship around.”

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The plan involved investments in technology. Infrastructure. Most importantly, people. The team built out its engineering department so that Rahal and teammates Takuma Sato, Christian Lundgaard and Pietro Fittipaldi wouldn’t sweat qualifying.

“It was a big investment for Mike and I,” Bobby Rahal said of co-owner Mike Lanigan, “but we’re not here just to be here.”

The gains appear to have translated to the track for some of the drivers. Sato, a two-time race winner, put his car in the Fast 12 that raced for the pole, and he will start 10th on Sunday. Lundgaard and Fittipaldi will start in Row 10, deep in the field but in a position that allowed them to avoid the pressure of bump day.

Then there was Graham Rahal, who was among the four drivers left fighting for three spots last Sunday.

As the last-chance qualifying session was drawing to a close, Rahal found himself holding onto the 33rd spot as 19-year-old rookie Nolan Siegel headed out for a last try. The similarity to last year, when then-teammate Jack Harvey was attempting to bump him from the field, was not lost on Rahal, who was left to watch his fate unfold from pit road.

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The wait wound up being short. Siegel crashed on his qualifying run and Rahal was in the field.

“I know a lot of you guys are probably sitting in here thinking I’m out of my mind, but we did make gains this year. It’s that simple,” Rahal said. “We were five to six miles an hour off. We’re not there anymore.”

They are still well back of Team Penske, though, which nailed down the first row, with Scott McLaughlin setting a pole qualifying record of 234.220 mph. Rahal, by comparison, ran a four-lap average of 229.974 to get himself into the field.

In that respect, Rahal was still left wondering what the issue might be. His team swapped Honda engines, changed everything from gear ratios to aerodynamic bits and yet still couldn’t seem to figure out why the No. 15 car had struggled to find speed.

“There’s a lot of little bits to this that make a difference,” Rahal said, “and then you guys see how close it is. It’s very, very, very close. A mile an hour makes I don’t know how much of a spread, but a ton of cars (on the race track).”

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When asked why Sato has been able to run closer to the front, Rahal replied: “I think Takuma is an anomaly. You can see that. Takuma, he’s got a hell of an engine, man. Unfortunately or fortunately. But compared to the rest of us? You see where the other three cars are the same, right? There’s one that’s different. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

But it’s not supposed to be the way it goes. Not after all the investments Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has made since last year, when Bobby Rahal called qualifying “embarrassing” and “hell,” and Lanigan admitted, “It was ugly.”

The speed and depth to which the team sank remains head-scratching. Sato gave RLL its second win in the race in 2020, when it was run in August because of the pandemic. The following year, Rahal was leading just past the midway point when his tire came off after a pit stop, sending him careening into the Turn 2 wall and ending such a promising day.

So what happened? What left RLL in such a bind?

“We got caught sleeping, frankly,” Lanigan said. “Very depressing winter. Bob and I totally committed to the resources required for this to not happen again, and quite frankly, the sting will not go away until one of these guys are on the podium.”

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    Graham Rahal looks at the speeds of cars before climbing into his car during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 
  photo  Graham Rahal is greeted by his family after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 
  photo  Takuma Sato, of Japan, stands behind a screen in his pit box during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monday, May 20, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 
  photo  Takuma Sato, of Japan, drives into Turn 2 during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
 
 
  photo  Christian Lundgaard, of Denmark, waits in pit lane during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 
  photo  Helio Castroneves, from left, of Brazil, Christian Lundgaard, of Denmark, and Conor Daly talk before a practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monday, May 20, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 
  photo  The crew for Christian Lundgaard, of Denmark, push tires back to the garage during a rain-delayed practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
 
 



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Your guide for planning to go to the Indianapolis 500

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Your guide for planning to go to the Indianapolis 500


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Aerosol cans including sunscreen, glass containers and, of course, weapons: Those are the things you can leave behind.

Officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Wednesday they’re gearing up to make the Indianapolis 500 and more activities leading up to Sunday’s race into fun events for all.

With a few recommendations.

J. Douglas Boles, the IMS president, said, “This year will be bigger. We’ve been tracking up on tickets pretty much all year. My guess is we will have 15,000 more people in the venue than last year, about 330,000.”

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To ensure a smooth entry, fans should arrive early to the 108th running of the Indy 500 at the gate closest to their seats before 10 a.m. Boles recommends as early as 8 a.m.

Security screening detectors will be at all gates, including nearly 60 open ones where people can walk through.

“We’ll flag you if there’s a reason for us to check. You could walk in with your sandwiches,” Boles said. 

Attendees can bring their own food and alcohol as long as it’s in nonglass containers and in coolers no larger than 18 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches.

Avoid rolling coolers; they set off alarms.

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Carry flashlights and umbrellas by hand to prevent setting off metal detectors. Boles said, “I would encourage people to hand-carry things to allow you to get in faster.”

Race day parking offered by Indianapolis Motor Speedway is sold out, but parking opportunities remain. Boles said, “There are always neighborhoods and homes who have some last-minute opportunities for parking.”

The race day shuttle service is sold out also.

Looking to do a ride-share or a taxi? The drop-off is at the corner of 10th and Polco streets.

There’s also an option to ride bicycles to the race.

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