With very little (ok, none) rain in the forecast let’s discuss for a moment the possibility of a drought returning to the greater Houston area.
A drought returns?
Harris County hasn’t been in a “moderate” or worse drought since August, 2015. However, last week most of the region fell into the “abnormally dry” category, which is just one step below a drought in the catalog kept by the US Drought Monitor.
(US Drought Monitor)
We are starting to see other indications of almost-drought like conditions crop up across the state after a dry late summer and early fall. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 57 Texas counties now have burn bans, including Waller, Austin and Wharton counties just to the west of the Houston metro area.
Texas counties with burn bans. (Texas A&M Forest Service)
After a great, fall-like weekend Houston will slide back into a warmer—although not oppressively so—weather pattern this week.
A small atmospheric disturbance will move from the I-35 corridor in Texas eastward through Houston later today. Were the atmosphere not so dry we might see some widespread showers, but as it is, while a few stray showers may pop up for the most part we’re going to see some clouds.
With that said, moisture levels will rise today after last week’s cool front, and humidity levels will continue to deepen after a spectacular weekend. Expect high temperatures in the low 80s, with lows in the mid-60s.
Tuesday through Friday
For the rest of the week our weather really should be quite boring. High pressure will settle into the region and should bring us partly to mostly sunny skies. We’ll have what I’m going to call Goldilocks weather, which means not too hot, not too cold, with some humidity. Highs will be in the 80s, with low 80s closer to the coast, and upper 80s for far western parts of the region; and lows in the lower 60s for far inland areas to around 70 degrees right along the coast.
Here’s your rain accumulation forecast for now through next weekend. (Weather Bell)
How sweet it is! Relief has arrived. Stepping outside this morning is more a pleasure than a chore. Yesterday’s cold front is now offshore, and we’re firmly entrenched in a pleasant and cooling air mass. That sets up what should be a great weekend.
Today through Monday
With the front through and dry northerly winds ongoing, expect a delightful Friday. Sunshine will dominate with highs in the mid to upper 70s. We’re skirting an interesting, albeit random record today. Tomorrow would tie the latest we’ve ever recorded our first 80° or cooler high temperature for the season. That means we’ll miss the record by one day today. I doubt anyone will complain.
The 10 latest first dates of 80° or lower for a high temperature in Houston. (NOAA)
So with that in mind, the rest of the weekend looks pretty solid. After we see lows in the low to mid 50s tonight (and some 40s away from the city and the coast),we’ll have another winner of a day Saturday. Expect more sunshine and highs in the mid to upper 70s again. Heading to Rice to see the Owls take on Prairie View A&M? It looks great.
Sunday looks good also. Expect a start in the 50s again, followed by even more sunshine. I do think some high clouds will slip through on Sunday, but it shouldn’t be anything too serious. Temps will max out around or a few ticks above 80° on Sunday afternoon. Read More…
Is anyone ready for a cold front? It’s not here yet, but it remains on the way. And golly I am ready.
Some showers have developed along the coast this morning from Brazosport to Galveston, and this rain should remain largely confined to the coastal counties, possibly bringing 1 inch or more to some areas.
Meanwhile, a broken line of storms just ahead of the cold front is moving steadily to the southeast, toward Houston. It should reach northern areas of the region late this morning, and likely will move through Houston this afternoon and off the coast this evening. Expect a chance of storms with the front’s passage, but nothing too threatening. Conditions will be breezy in the front’s wake, especially close to the coast.
The Texas Tech model shows a line of broken storms nearing the coast at 5pm CT today, with the cold front just behind it. The storms will exit the area along with the front.
We’re almost to fall, folks. Almost. We just have to get through today and Thursday morning before a cool front arrives.
Fog, especially in rural areas, may be a problem until about 9 a.m. The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory through then for most of the metro areas, so be sure and take care when driving. Otherwise, we’re in for one more summer-like day. The difference between today and Monday and Tuesday, however, is that with high pressure moving east we’re going to see more clouds (especially along the coast) and possibly some scattered showers later today. I still expect to see highs around 90 degrees.
The big day. As moisture pools ahead of the front we should see some fairly widespread, although likely brief, showers during the middle of the day. The front itself should move into northern parts of the region by around noon, and likely will be off the coast by or before sunset. Any rain should end with the front’s passage, and breezy conditions will follow in its wake, and drier, cooler air will move in Thursday night and Friday.
Saturday morning’s forecast low temperatures per the GFS model. (Weather Bell)