And, just like that, summer’s back in Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 7:19 AM

One upside to this week’s rains has been temperatures, as Houston recorded five consecutive days with highs in the 80s in June for the first time since 2004. But that will change quickly, as sunny skies and highs in the mid-90s come roaring back to Houston with a blast of summertime heat.

Chart showing the length of day (light blue), twilight, and night in Houston throughout the year. (

If you enjoyed the reprieve from 90-degree temperatures, all I can offer you is this. The summer solstice occurred Thursday, marking the longest day of the year—14 hours, 3 minutes, 30 seconds. The Sun will now slowly begin sinking in the sky, presaging the coming of fall about three months from now. Temperatures lag behind the summer solstice because water retains heat longer than land, and initially days will shorten by only a few seconds. For example, the day length today is 14 hours, 3 minutes, 27 seconds. However, by the middle of August, the day will already be 1 hour shorter, even though we associate that with the dead of summer in Houston. So fall is coming … eventually.

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After very wet commute home on Wednesday evening, Houston had a chance to dry out during the overnight hours. However, we have to get through one more day of storms—probably not as widespread as Wednesday—before drier air helps bring down moisture levels and puts us into a more typical summertime pattern. And make no mistake, these 80-degree days will be long gone.


Broken bands of precipitation persist along the Texas coast this morning, and these should remain on and off during the daytime hours although likely with less organization than we’ve seen. The system will shear out, and heavier precipitation will eventually move south into Mexico, and northeast into the central United States.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for Thursday and Thursday night. (Pivotal Weather)

For the greater Houston region, this probably means another day of scattered to widespread showers, with accumulations of 0.5 to 1 inch of rain (likely greater closer to the coast), and a slight potential of some street flooding. Showers will be most likely this afternoon, and high temperatures should reach near 90 degrees.

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As a low-pressure system that had been southwest of Houston—and produced significant flooding in Valley locations such as Welasco today—has begun to be pulled to the northeast, heavier rains have moved into the metro area this afternoon and early evening. Although we are not too concerned about significant flooding from these rains, they unfortunately struck during the evening commute.

Radar as of 5:30pm CT on Wednesday. (Intellicast)

The good news is that the storms are moving to the north at a pretty solid clip, so the heaviest showers (with hourly rainfall rates of 1-2 inches) are moving through. We are starting to see some high water on roadways and freeway feeder roads, but as of 5:30pm this has affected just a handful of areas. Please drive carefully and do not drive into high water. These storms will pass.

We think this evening is probably the worst of it, but with a moist atmosphere and low pressure lingering, there probably will be some additional showers on Thursday—with some areas picking up another 1 to 2 inches of rainfall. If any of this changes, we’ll update you.


Flooding threat almost over for upper Texas coast

Posted by Eric Berger at 7:31 AM

We have been talking about a potential flooding threat for Houston for quite awhile, and those of us along the upper Texas coast can finally begin to contemplate putting this event in the rear view mirror. Overall, these rains turned out to be pretty much as expected for the Houston area—with most of the region getting 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over the last several days.

However, Houston and Galveston represented a relative calm in the storm. Multiple parts of the Texas coast, such as the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi and Port Arthur, received 12 inches or more of rainfall from a tropical disturbance that moved into Texas this week. The following map of estimated rain totals over the last three days (which you can click to enlarge) shows this. Truthfully, we anticipated the greater rainfall totals in Corpus Christi, but the Beaumont and Port Arthur-area rainfall surprised us. That bullseye could just as easily been Houston.

Rainfall estimates for the 72 hours preceding 6am CT Wednesday. (


The atmosphere remains very moist over the region, but the axis of heaviest rainfall has moved off to the southwest, from Brownsville, to Corpus Christi to Victoria. The National Weather Service has retained a Flash Flood Watch for Jackson, Wharton, Matagorda, and Colorado counties, but removed the rest of the Houston metro area from these watches.

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