Sunshine, heat for a few more days before wet conditions next week

Good morning. With high pressure more or less holding sway, our region will now see three hot and mostly sunny days before the forecast begins to change on Sunday. Most of next week still looks fairly cloudy and somewhat cooler, with healthy rain chances, although details remain very much to come.

Thursday

There are a few scattered showers along the coast this morning, and some of those may migrate inland before, or by around noon, and likely peter out south of Interstate 10. Otherwise, we’re looking at mostly sunny skies today, with highs in the low- to mid-90s, and light southerly winds. Combined with high dewpoints, this will be a hot and sticky day. Lows tonight won’t drop below 80 degrees for much of the area.

The Houston region will see a warm late June day on Thursday. (Weather Bell)

Friday

This should be a carbon copy of Thursday.

Saturday

Rain chances may increase to about 20 percent on Saturday, but for the most part this should again be a hot and mostly sunny day with highs in the low to mid-90s. If you have outdoor plans for Saturday, they should be good to go.

Sunday

I’m less sure about the second half of the weekend. High pressure will begin to retreat on Saturday, and this should open the door to more widespread showers on Sunday. While this should not lead to heavy rain on Sunday, you probably have about a 50 percent chance of seeing some showers on Sunday, with the possibility of a few thunderstorms. Skies will likely be partly sunny, with highs in the low 90s.

Slightly cooler weather lies ahead next week for Houston. (Weather Bell)

Next week

The upper atmosphere will be such that our region will see a series of disturbances move overhead next week, a pattern that could persist through the entire work week. This will lead to more cloud cover, and the absence of high pressure will lead to rain chances on the order of 40 to 60 percent each day, if not higher. I have little confidence in making an accumulation forecast this far out, but I suspect most areas will see at least 1 to 3 inches overall. This will help to keep high temperatures down to around 90 degrees.

Showers begin to abate, with a few sunny days, before rains return

Good morning. Today is something of a transition day, with ample moisture across the area battling against high pressure building into the area. As a result I think we’ll see at least some scattered rain showers today before a few days of mostly sunny and hot weather from Thursday into the weekend. Healthy rain chances return by Sunday.

Wednesday

Some showers have developed over the Matagorda Bay region this morning, and this activity should progress toward the Houston region later this morning and into the early afternoon hours. These showers will definitely be hit or miss, with a few areas seeing some briefly heavy rain and most others no rain at all. Skies will otherwise be mostly sunny, with high temperatures in the mid-90s, and southeast winds of 5 to 10 mph. Lows tonight will not drop below 80 degrees for much of Houston.

A stationary front northeast of Houston will allow for Gulf Coast rain today. (National Weather Service)

Thursday and Friday

As high pressure exerts a little more influence I think rain chances will fall back to less than 20 percent toward the end of the work week. This, combined, with mostly sunny skies, should lead to a pair of hot and sunny days for the region with light southerly winds. Lows will remain sticky, in the upper 70s to low 80s. As we get closer to July, it’s going to feel a lot like July.

Friday will probably be the warmest day of the coming week. (Weather Bell)

Saturday and Sunday

The first half of the weekend should see similar conditions to Thursday and Friday, although there may be a slightly higher chance of an afternoon shower on Saturday. Highs will be in the low to mid-90s with mostly sunny skies, and if you have outdoor activities planned I think you’re probably going to be fine.

Sunday may be a different story, with a few more clouds, and perhaps a 50 percent chance of rain. Right now I don’t think there’s any kind of washout in the cards, but there’s definitely the possibility of passing showers. This should help to limit high temperatures to the low 90s.

Next week

Yet another dying front may approach Houston next week, and this in concert with rising atmospheric moisture levels will lead to better rain chances. It’s really hard to pin down any kind of details at this point, but most of next week will probably see highs of around 90 degrees, with solid rain chances. As for accumulations, it’s too early to do much more than speculate, but we’re probably looking at 1 to 3 inches for much of the region, with higher local amounts. If this happens it will put our soils in a good place heading into July.

Eye on the Tropics: Speculation season has arrived

Like we did in 2020, Eric and I are pleased to bring back the “Eye on the Tropics” series to Space City Weather. Each week, normally on Tuesday afternoons, either myself or Eric will write a more detailed post specific to tropical weather in the Atlantic. This allows us to go more in depth on what is happening, what we are watching, and what might be buzzing on social media with respect to tropical storms or hurricanes. We will keep these weekly updates going into August. Usually by mid-August there’s enough happening each day that we’re covering it in our daily posts.

Anyway, we are off to a roaring start this year.

Tropical outlook in a sentence

While we are monitoring the progress of a tropical wave east of the Caribbean islands and some model solutions have brought that or another system into the Gulf as a substantial tropical storm, there is still far too much uncertainty regarding its future to consider it a serious concern at this time.

2021 so far

Before we get to the Atlantic system we’re watching, let’s hit you with some statistics about the season so far. Claudette’s remnants are steaming out to sea in the Atlantic, our third named storm of the young 2021 hurricane season. While Claudette was quite quick to become our third storm, it did not come close to last year’s speed, when Cristobal was named on the 2nd of June. We won’t threaten the fastest to storm #4 either, as Danielle’s record in 2016 is already in the rearview mirror (June 20th). So, at least we aren’t quite pacing 2020 right now. Beyond that, there’s little to deduce based on this season’s activity so far.

Atlantic disturbance

The main thing to talk about this week is a disturbance in the Atlantic basin that the National Hurricane Center is currently giving 30 percent odds of development over the next couple days (Author’s note: Since publication, this has been dialed back to 20 percent odds).

This particular disturbance has probably already caused some folks heartburn as a few social media focused weather pages have irresponsibly shared operational model guidance from Sunday showing a presumed major hurricane hitting Texas in early July. What they don’t tell you, besides failing to offer any context, is that the very same model has subsequently sent a weaker storm to Brownsville, Mobile, the Florida Big Bend, Tampico, New Orleans, and Pensacola in various runs. In fact, I’ve put together a gif of the pinball game the GFS model has been playing lately below.

The GFS operational model forecast for next Friday over the last 6 days has shown a potential tropical system anywhere from Mexico to Texas to Florida to not even developing at all. Operational models aren’t your friends during hurricane season. (Pivotal Weather)

Again, some of the best advice we can give you, besides not looking at operational model runs to mentally prepare for a storm forecast, is to not waste your time on various Facebook weather pages that don’t identify who the authors are and with whom they are affiliated. But I digress.

So the real question is: Should we watch this system? The answer is yes but with the big caveat that there’s probably a very good chance this develops into nothing. And what some models have latched onto in the Gulf late next week may not even be directly associated with this system.

Looking at satellite imagery of the disturbance in question today, we can see just a disorganized “blob” of thunderstorms approaching the southern Windward Islands.

A tropical disturbance west of the Caribbean islands is not well organized but it may slowly try to organized over the next couple days. (Weathernerds.org)

The NHC going with a low chance of development over the next 5 days seems reasonable based on this. The system is likely to be steered west or west-northwest around the periphery of high pressure in the Atlantic. This should bring it into the Caribbean, where conditions over the next 5 to 7 days won’t exactly be hospitable for development.

Wind shear is very high in most of the Caribbean (red color), which makes any sustained or serious development of this Atlantic disturbance unlikely over the next 5 to 7 days. (University of Wisconsin SSEC)

So even if this survives the trip, don’t expect it to be particularly healthy looking when it gets to the western Caribbean.

Beyond that, our ensemble guidance is very lukewarm on development and no real model at a place where I’m sitting up straighter in my chair out of concern. There’s some chance this could end up falling apart completely. It may make its way to the Pacific. Or perhaps it does indeed come to the Gulf. We don’t know, but we also don’t see anything notably alarming in model guidance either.

So the advice? Check back in every couple days for the latest, as you normally would during hurricane season. I would not waste energy worrying about this one though. Hurricane season is a marathon. Inevitably we are going to have to watch a storm or two with legitimate interest and concern come later July, August, or September. So pacing yourself if you can is a good plan of attack.

Anything else?

The good news is that beyond this system, there’s nothing else of note in the tropics. With a cold front crossing into our area this week and possibly another one next week, it’s probably best to not write the unexpected off completely. But there’s nothing in any modeling that suggests we need to really focus on anything specific for at least a little while.

Storms rumbling through Houston as a “cool” front arrives

In meteorological terms, a cool front is in fact moving into the region. However, in practical terms, it’s late June. So don’t expect much cool or dry air. Far inland areas may see some dewpoints in the upper 60s, but overall the only sensible effects from this storm will be elevated rain chances. We saw scattered storms on Monday—some of which were pretty intense on the east side—and a slightly more organized line of storms dropped into Houston overnight. These rains should continue to progress toward the coast this morning.

Tuesday

Skies will clear out later this morning for most of the region, with light northeast winds and high temperatures reaching about 90 degrees. All in all, for late June, not bad. Moisture levels will remain higher south of Interstate 10, so we could well see the redevelopment of at least some scattered showers there after noon today. Overnight lows will generally be in the upper 70s.

You can find lows in the 50s in the Panhandle this morning. (Weather Bell)

Wednesday

The “front,” such as it is, will retreat back north on Wednesday and high pressure will gradually replace it. This will allow for skies to remain partly to mostly sunny, and highs should push back into the low 90s at least. A few showers may develop during the afternoon hours, along the sea breeze.

Thursday and Friday

Full-on summer weather returns, with ample sunshine and highs reaching the mid-90s. Again, the sea breeze may spark a few showers, but most of us will remain dry.

Saturday and Sunday

The high pressure that will make for sunny conditions during the second half of the work week will likely weaken by Saturday, leading to an increase in rain chances. Saturday still will probably be mostly sunny, and with perhaps a 30 percent chance of rain I’d say many outdoor activities should be OK. I’m less confident in Sunday, when shower coverage might increase some, especially during the afternoon hours. Highs will be in the low- to mid-90s, regardless.

By Friday, highs will reach the mid-90s at least for Houston. (Weather Bell)

Next week

Rain chances will likely tick up further on Monday and Tuesday of next week as atmospheric moisture levels are likely to increase, and atmospheric conditions favor rising air. It’s too early to say much about accumulations, but 1 to 2 inches of rain after several hot and sunny days would be not be unwelcome.

Tropics

The Gulf of Mexico is quiet in the wake of Tropical Storm Claudette, but we’re starting to see some signs that the deeper tropics are waking up. (To be clear, there is nothing out there right now that should really concern us at all). Matt will have a full roundup on the tropics in a post early this afternoon.