The heat is on for Houston. Sunday’s official high temperature reached 96 degrees, and we’re going to have a couple of more days in the mid-90s, with isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms, before our weather may change significantly by Wednesday due to a tropical system. Or not. Here’s the latest on what we know about Invest 93L, the system moving toward the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Organization

The storm remains very large and disorganized, producing fairly heavy rains on its eastern side. The best estimate as of Monday morning is that its center is now moving across the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, and will emerge into the southern Gulf of Mexico later today.

“X” denotes approximate center of circulation. (NOAA)

A hurricane hunter is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon to better characterize its organization, and the National Hurricane Center still rates it as a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm this week.. But as we’ve been suggesting, it’s unlikely to find overly favorable conditions to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico, so the primary threat from the system will be heavy rains.

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We’re continuing to watch the development of a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea, near the Yucatan Peninsula, that is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico. This system could play a major role in the Houston region’s weather later this week—or very little. But it’s something I think is definitely worth paying attention to.

Will it develop?

At present the system is a broad area of low pressure, but a lot of forecast models are bullish on its development into something akin to a relatively weak tropical storm over the next few days. The National Hurricane Center believes this, too, giving it a 90 percent chance of development into a tropical depression or storm during the next five days. (A hurricane hunter may investigate the storm later today). Although we can’t rule it out, this tropical system appears unlikely to reach hurricane strength, and therefore the primary threat will be a lot of rainfall.

Satellite image of the tropical system on Sunday morning. (NOAA/Space City Weather)

Where is it going?

This is the key question, and one that remains difficult to answer. We can be reasonably confident the tropical system will slowly move across the Yucatan Peninsula today and Monday, and thne find itself in the southern Gulf of Mexico. But this is the easy part of the forecast.

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Hot, hot, hot! Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far in Houston. We hit 95°, which is right about average for our first 95° day of the year. Typically, our first 95° day occurs about June 13th (based on records back to the 1880s). Fun fact: In 1899, we didn’t hit 95° for the first time until August 8th! If only…

Today & Weekend

With our first 95° in the books, we’ll try and tack on at least one more this weekend. High pressure should dominate the next two to three days, keeping us mostly dry and hot. I suppose we can’t entirely rule out a stray downpour Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, but for the most part, the only detriment this weekend will be the heat. If you’re outside, make sure you stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and find some shade when possible. It’s very basic, common sense stuff, but it’s always worth a reminder.

NWS forecast highs are once again close to the middle 90s today. (Weather Bell)

 

All three days should see low to mid-90s for highs. Nighttimes will be sultry, with upper 70s in Houston and about 80 degrees along the Southeast Texas coast. Galveston will offer limited relief at night this weekend.

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Good morning. Houston has clearly moved into a summer-like pattern of weather, and our weather won’t change much over the next several days. And we probably won’t change too much next week, unless an area of disturbed weather in the tropics migrates to the north. We’ll discuss that possibility below.

Today

There may be a few spotty showers across central and eastern portions of Houston today, but for the most part a building ridge of high pressure should shut rain chances down for the area. Look for mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the low 90s.

Friday and Saturday

Warm and sunny, with highs in the low- to mid-90s, and overnight lows around 80 degrees.

Sunday through Tuesday

The high pressure that will largely dominate our weather from now through Saturday or so may slip away to the north by Sunday, opening up the possibility of some isolated or scattered showers during the daytime. Temperatures will be warm when it’s not raining, with highs likely rising into the mid-90s. That will be new for us, as the warmest it’s gotten so far this year has been 93 degrees (twice). Read More…

As the reality of summer settles in for Houston, we can offer you one saving grace—the summer solstice is just six days away. June 20th will be the longest day of the year at 14 hours, 3 minutes. The Sun will be almost directly overhead during the middle of the day, at 84 degrees altitude. After passing the solstice, we’ll at least be able to begin counting down toward fall as days get a little bit shorter beginning next week. It’s a small hope, but the only hope we can offer at this point.

Today

High pressure will begin to build over the area today, but there’s enough moisture to still squeeze out a few showers for Houston, especially over the eastern half of the area. They will be scattered and likely brief. Highs otherwise in the low 90s.

Heat is building over the area. Here are some basic reminders. (National Weather Service)

Thursday through Sunday

June-like weather will prevail as high pressure builds over the region. That is to say, we’ll see high temperatures generally in the low 90s, lows in the upper 70s, with partly to mostly sunny skies and almost nil rain chances.  Read More…