Skies are already clearing this morning across the Houston region on Wednesday morning, setting the stage for a splendid holiday weekend—and as discussed Tuesday our weather looks really fine for quite awhile. We have only one small concern, which surprisingly after a year in which Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, is a lack of rain. Over the last two months a large part of the region has received just two to three inches of rainfall. As the US Drought Monitor map shown below indicates, the region is not yet in a drought. We are not yet even “abnormally dry,” but conditions now represent a mild concern as we enter a La Nina winter that is likely to be drier than normal. For now, it’s just something to watch.

Drought map for Texas as of Wednesday. (US Drought Monitor)

Wednesday and Thursday

What you see this morning is what you get. Wednesday will be breezy, as cool northerly winds blow in, but these should die down this evening. Both days will be sunny, with highs in the 60s, and chilly nights. For Thanksgiving morning, we should see temperatures as cool as the mid-30s for far northern reaches of the Houston metro area, with low 40s in the city, and around 50 degrees right on the coast. Thursday night will be a few degrees warmer.

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Houston will see some spotty rain chances today before a cold front blows into the area tonight and brings chilly, holiday-like weather to the region for Thanksgiving. This will provide a nice contrast to the holiday’s weather the last two years, which has been muggier, with high temperatures in the 70s.

Tuesday

Some showers popped up near the coast this morning, and we will probably see additional showers and perhaps a few isolated thunderstorms to the south and east of the city today. A majority of the city will probably see little or no rain at all, however, as mostly cloudy skies limit high temperatures to the mid-70s. I expect a warmish evening before the front pushes through the region between midnight and sunrise on Wednesday morning. A broken line of storms may accompany the front.

Wednesday and Thursday

Expect breezy conditions when you wake up on Wednesday, as cooler and drier air will be blowing in from the north. We could see wind gusts in the upper teens to lower 20s of mph, and highs should only warm into the mid-60s under sunny skies.

Low temperature forecast for Thanksgiving morning. (NOAA)

Wednesday night and Thanksgiving morning will be a cold one, with lows in the mid- to upper 30s for inland areas, and lower 50s right along the coast. After a clear and cold start to Thanksgiving, expect light winds, sunny skies, and a high of around 65 degrees during the afternoon.

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Post-Harvey week in review: November 20, 2017

Posted by Matt Lanza at 3:47 PM

As part of our commitment to helping the community recover from Hurricane Harvey, we thought it would be helpful to write a “week in review” post every Monday. In the post-Harvey world, there has been no shortage of news about recovery, future projects, and ramifications of all that happened during the storm. This weekly post, largely produced by Matt, attempts to summarize the major news of the week, without editorializing. Please feel free to share anything we missed in the comments, or suggest additions for next week’s post.

Read of the week

The U.S. Flooded One of Houston’s Richest Neighborhoods to Save Everyone Else (Bloomberg Businessweek): November 20th’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek highlights the dam releases from Addicks and Barker and subsequent flooding in West Houston for their cover story. The article offers a synopsis of what happened and the challenges of ongoing litigation as a result of the flooding.

November 20th’s Bloomberg Businessweek talks about some of the Energy Corridor’s experiences during Harvey. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Harvey Recovery

Repairs to Harvey-damaged San Jac bridge to start early 2018 (Houston Chronicle): TxDOT has a lot to consider after Harvey, including elevating roads. Meanwhile, work to repair the US-59/I-69 bridge over the San Jacinto River, which was heavily damaged by the flooding will begin after Christmas. Some of the repair work could be quite substantial.

After Harvey, A Once-Lively Neighborhood Finds Silence (Houston Public Media): Meyerland residents grapple with the decision to relocate or rebuild higher.

Nearly $29M being sent to more than 90 nonprofits in 2nd round of Harvey fund distribution (ABC 13): After $7 million was distributed last month, another $29 million of Harvey relief donations will be distributed among a whole bunch of local organizations to help folks in and around Houston.

It’s official: KHOU not returning to Allen Parkway (KHOU): After being flooded during Harvey, KHOU will seek out a new permanent home.

Houston area groups propose plan for how third Hurricane Harvey relief package should be distributed (Community Impact News): The U.S. House will soon pass a third aid package for Harvey relief. Governor Abbott has asked for over $61 billion in funding for various flood control projects and buyouts in addition to recovery. Much of that request is based on the Rebuild Texas plan. Another group has advocated for more comprehensive flood control the rest of Harris County. You can read about some of the differences between Rebuild Texas and this Better Houston plan in the article.

Texans blast Trump’s $44B storm relief package as ‘inadequate’ as White House goes on defense (Dallas News): Speaking of, the latest White House proposal for hurricane relief falls quite a bit short of what the governor had asked for from Congress.

Flood control plan for stretch of Buffalo Bayou could result in removal of trees (Houston Chronicle): Studies and discussions about how to control flooding on Buffalo Bayou could result in trees being removed for projects, such as detention ponds.

After Harvey, Houston arts groups on precarious footing as critical holiday season nears (Houston Chronicle): The Theater District in downtown Houston was hit tremendously hard by Harvey. Recovery is slow and challenging, and it may take several years to fully recover. Read More…

As a homeowner, I just want things that are supposed to work, to work. I’m not particularly handy, so when something breaks it always frustrates me. Even worse, if there’s a plumbing problem, it can damage a home. Or if the AC breaks down in August, heaven help us all. Frankly, there’s never a convenient time for a major system in your home to break down. In today’s sponsored post from Reliant, we discuss one option to address this.

Reliant has created a package to help protect your home from potential AC, heater and plumbing issues. The idea behind the Reliant Home Maintenance Package is to alleviate the stress of the homeowner who relies on their major home systems to perform all year long.
For $249 a year, a homeowner can enjoy the benefits of a full plumbing inspection once a year, two seasonal air conditioner or heater tune-ups per year.

The details of each inspection are as follows:

Heating Tune-up (October – November)

  • Inspect and test the gas valve
  • Inspect and test the pilot light (manual or electronic)
  • Visually inspect the heat exchanger
  • Check flue for proper ventilation and clearance
  • Inspect and test the electrical disconnect
  • Check amperage readings on heat strips
  • Verify proper wiring size on heat strips
  • Inspect and test the electrical power switch
  • Inspect blower motor for proper ventilation
  • Check the evaporator drain line
  • Check the overflow pan drain line
  • Inspect all air filters
  • Inspect and test thermostat

Plumbing Inspection (January – February)

  • Check the water pressure
  • Visual inspection of faucets for leaks
  • Visual inspection of toilets and tanks for leaks
  • Check the drain speed in bathtubs and sinks
  • Visual inspection of shower pan
  • Inspect flexible hoses/water supply lines to: Toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater
  • Drain and sewer line inspection (if accessible)
  • Water heater: Check temperature, inspect venting system, ccheck water and gas connection, inspect drain and pan piping

AC Tune-up (March – April)

  • Inspect condenser coil
  • Clean and clear debris
  • Inspect all electrical connections
  • Adjust the system for optimal cooling
  • Check for refrigerant and oil leaks
  • Check the expansion valve and coil temperatures
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Check condensation drain
  • Run the cooling cycle
  • Inspect and test the thermostat
  • Inspect all air filters
  • Perform a wash-down of the condenser coil

Although such a service cannot fully guarantee there will be no unexpected problems with your home, it can often find problems before they happen. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to rain showers falling onto your bed. Which has happened to me. When the water heater burst about a decade ago in the attic.