Awesome autumn weather to kick off October

We are waking up to our coolest morning of the season so far today, with Bush Airport registering in the mid-50s. Rural portions of Montgomery County and between Houston and Beaumont in Liberty and Jefferson Counties are even in the 40s this morning.

We will continue this delightful stretch of weather into and through this weekend. So, if you’re free on Sunday, come celebrate with myself, Eric, and Maria (along with Dwight and Lee!) at the Houston Botanic Garden for our Fall Day!

If you’ll be attending, we’d love if you could RSVP here if you wish. Thanks as always for your support, and we look forward to saying hello!


Abundant sunshine and pleasant. Highs in the low to mid-80s. That’s it. We’ll also begin to see offshore waters calm down a bit as Ian’s distant impacts wind down. Winds should be 5 to 15 mph.


We should see wall to wall sunshine this weekend. Look for highs in the mid-80s on Saturday, possibly creeping into the upper-80s by Sunday afternoon.

Look for more widespread 50s on Saturday morning outside the urban core of Houston and away from the Gulf. (Pivotal Weather)

Morning lows will be mostly in the 50s tomorrow and upper-50s to low-60s on Sunday morning.

Early next week

We’ll continue to see sunshine next week, but I am thinking there will be more high clouds to speak of, perhaps turning us mostly cloudy at times. A Pacific hurricane and some more upper-level moisture streaming across Mexico will likely spoil the blue skies. Unfortunately this won’t come with any beneficial rain it would seem, with most of it falling west of Texas.

Rainfall over the next 7 days will be non-existent in Southeast Texas. (Pivotal Weather)

In addition, we’ll slowly warm back up with highs in the upper-80s to low-90s and morning lows generally in the mid-60s.

Late next week

High pressure building across the Gulf from the Atlantic will allow us to warm up even a bit more later next week. Look for more 90s than 80s for a couple days I think. Our next front *may* get here next weekend, but it looks dry and weak right now, so I’m not optimistic that the dry weather and a late summer swoon will end. We shall see.


As recovery efforts continue across Florida, Ian is approaching the coast of South Carolina this morning. It should make landfall later today likely near Georgetown, SC, between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Ian reintensified into a hurricane yesterday as it moved offshore. It currently has a wide swath of tropical storm force winds and a small area of 75 to 85 mph winds near the center.

Hurricane Ian Part II will be less intense than Part I but still should produce significant rain, flooding, surge, and some wind on the Carolina coast. (NOAA)

Notice how much wider the wind swath (orange) is than the cone (white) in the image above. It’s an important lesson in the limitations of the cone, as impacts can extend well outside the width of the cone. Whatever the case, here’s hoping Ian’s second act underachieves on the Carolina coast today and tomorrow.

Sure, all this dry air is lovely. But is it ever going to rain again?

Good morning. The major weather story in the United States continues to have nothing to do with Houston. Now-Tropical Storm Ian has continued its devastating trek across central Florida overnight, bringing strong winds and deluging rainfall to areas such as Orlando, and knocking out power to one-quarter of the state. Ian’s center will soon emerge over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, allowing the storm to make a second landfall into South Carolina on Friday. Yesterday, on Ars Technica, I wrote about why this is the kind of storm that gives me nightmares as a forecaster.

Houston, and much of Texas, lie on the backside of Ian’s massive circulation. This means we’re going to see a continued flow of dry air through the weekend, bringing us warm days in the upper 80s, and lows near 60 for much of Houston, with nights in the 50s for inland areas. For this time of year, this is a potent and prolonged front.


Look for highs today in the upper 80s with sunny skies. Winds will be light, out of the northeast at 5 to 10 mph. Low temperatures tonight will drop to 60 degrees in Houston, and a few areas near Conroe and points further inland may drop all the way to 50 degrees beneath clear skies. It has not been this chilly in Houston since at least early April.

Low temperatures on Thursday night will be the coldest in nearly six months. (Weather Bell)


Basically, the same marvelous day and night as Thursday.

Saturday and Sunday

The air mass will start to modify slightly this weekend, but our air is still going to remain plenty dry for this time of year. Look for highs in the mid- to upper-80s, and nights in the low 60s. The weather should be spectacular for our first-ever Fall Day celebration, which will take place from 10 am to noon. Come by and say hello to Matt, myself, Maria, Dwight, and Lee, enjoy plenty of activities for adults and kids, and walk around the beautiful Houston Botanic Garden. It’s free, and just our way of welcoming fall-like weather back to Houston after a long summer. If you’re so inclined, you can RSVP here. So far we’ve had a great response!

Next week

Conditions starting by Monday or Tuesday of next week will feel somewhere between summer and fall in Houston, with highs generally about 90 degrees, lows in the upper 60s, and partly to mostly sunny skies. The air, however, will be drier than it usually is during summer, so it won’t be oppressively humid during the days. Mornings and evenings should be reasonably pleasant outside. Another front is possible in about 10 days times, give or take.

Is it ever going to rain again?

Some parts of Houston have not recorded meaningful rainfall in nearly four weeks. The region’s main weather monitoring sites, Bush Intercontinental, Hobby Airport, and Galveston, are all nearly 4 inches below normal on rainfall this month. Unfortunately, that’s not going to change during the last couple of days of September, or the first week of October. Our next real chance of rain probably will not come until the October 8 to 10 time frame, so not this weekend, but the following one. And even then rainfall is far from a certainty. This is not a great place to be, as La Niña is expected to persist through this winter, which tends to bring drier conditions in Texas, including the greater Houston region.

While Texas slides into fall, an extremely dangerous hurricane slams into Florida

Good morning. The majority of the Houston region has dropped into the low 60s this morning as cool, dry air blankets the area. This week’s front will have sticking power as Texas falls on the backside of the extremely powerful Hurricane Ian, which will bring a catastrophic storm surge to southwest Florida later today. The slow-moving storm, with sustained winds of 155 mph, is the kind of hurricane that destroys communities. Frankly, this is the kind of storm I worry most about when I think of Houston and its vulnerabilities to tropical weather. We need to be ready to help Floridians in the days and weeks ahead.


Given Florida’s misery it feels almost guilty to write that Houston’s forecast looks absolutely splendid. Yes, today will be warm again, with a high of about 90 degrees beneath mostly sunny skies. But with continued dry air, we can expect nighttime lows to drop into the upper 50s for areas well inland, low 60s for the city, and slightly warmer conditions right along the coast. Winds will be out of the northeast at 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday and Friday

These should be the driest and coolest days of the week, as the northeasterly flow in the wake of Ian reaches its maximum. Look for sunny days with highs in the mid-80s, and lows dropping to around 60 degrees in Houston. This is just spectacular weather for late September.

Low temperature forecast for Saturday morning in Houston. (Weather Bell)

Saturday and Sunday

Mostly dry air remains in place this weekend, with highs generally in the upper 80s, sunny skies, and lows in the low 60s. As a reminder, we’re holding a Fall Day Celebration from 10am to Noon CT on Sunday at Houston Botanic Garden. See more details here. The event is free and you don’t need tickets. Please come by and say hello.

Next week

The air mass over the region will slowly modify next week as humidity starts to return. But it looks like nighttime temperatures will still be dropping into the upper 60s, so it’s not going to be a full-on return to summer-like weather. Some slight rain chances start to return to the forecast about a week from now, but they’re iffy at best.

Extremely powerful Hurricane Ian approaches Florida this morning.

Hurricane Ian

The category-5 hurricane now has sustained winds of 155 mph, and will make landfall near Port Charlotte in Southwest Florida this afternoon. It will push a surge of 12 to 16 feet of water into the state. Ian will then slowly track northeast across Florida for much of the next two days, bringing flooding rains and damaging structures will wind gusts well above hurricane force. There are three main threats from hurricanes—wind, surge, and inland rainfall—and unfortunately Ian is going to bring awful doses of all three in the next few days to Florida. The storm is then likely to move into the southeastern Atlantic Ocean and make a second landfall on Georgia and South Carolina Friday, albeit as a much weaker system.

A candid view on installing a whole-home generator in 2022

Like some of you I am sure, being stuck in a cold house with my wife, kids, and mother-in-law in the middle of the February 2021 freeze was the tipping point for us. It was time to get a generator. Also like many of you as a result of the pandemic, we were in the middle of reassessing our living decisions and space needs around that same time. It was not until summer 2021 that we decided to move to West U and started exploring a generator for our new home.

Much like Eric did for his generator, and with his blessing, we used a portion of Reliant’s annual sponsorship to have a whole-home generator installed at the Lanza household. Reliant, of course, is the multi-year sponsor of Space City Weather. As in Eric’s case, my experience will reflect that of any consumer in my situation. We laughed, we cried, and it was not always pretty. But it got done.

Obviously, getting a generator is an investment. An average installation will likely run you between $10,000 to $15,000 depending on your home and needs, and that may have even nudged up a bit due to inflation. That said, I think we have learned from recent disasters both here in Texas and along the Gulf Coast that if you are able to purchase a whole-home generator, it will likely be a worthy investment. This is not something I really ever thought I’d do but having an infant and toddler roaming around a powerless house can change minds. My goal in this post is to describe the process of having a whole-home generator installed in a 2022 world, sharing how my experience differed from Eric’s that he wrote about last year.

Reliant works with a Houston-based company called Quality Home Products of Texas. To begin this effort, Quality sent a technician to my house back in November 2021. Joey was our tech, and he was extremely informative and knowledgeable about the process. We live in an older house (1940s) that has been modernized, so there were a few quirks about our situation in terms of wiring, logistics, etc. Those became an issue during the installation process, but broadly, Joey’s plan worked on paper. They were good at finding workable, minimally invasive solutions for a home’s unique situation.

The first physical element of the process was getting a pad installed.

We outlined where the generator would go in our yard, placed some stakes in the ground, signed a contract and paid 25 percent of the total up front. Here is where my situation first deviated a bit from Eric’s experience. Eric’s home required a stand, but in our case a pad worked fine. To do this, workers came on two visits to construct the “outline” of the pad and then pour concrete. Both visits were quick, easy, and required little effort on our part.

The second difference from Eric’s experience was the Great Supply Chain Crisis of late 2021 and 2022. When we signed the contract in November, we were told that the process was going to be a bit delayed because of supplies. Apparently, a lot of folks want generators! The tentative timeline was that installation would probably be in February or March. Being fairly plugged into the news, I expected this, and it was just an inevitable outcome that was understandable. I appreciated Joey being honest about it up front.

Our gas meter upgrade was one of the thorniest parts of the process. It involved a bit of diplomatic navigation between CenterPoint and Quality Home Products, but once complete, it worked fine.

Then, as it turns out, our approval process in West U hit a delay. Thus, my installation was delayed another month or two in City Hall. Finally, we got the ball rolling in April, the pad poured in May, and the installation in June. So why am I writing this in September? A number of things: My schedule and a Covid outbreak in our house, then a number of minor issues that led to five- to seven-day delays each time. We had issues getting our gas meter upgraded with some back-and-forth between Quality and CenterPoint. The regulator necessary for gas supply to the house was installed a week before CenterPoint was able to come out to upgrade the meter, leading to hot water supply issues. We also had issues with how our HVAC system connected to the generator. We had a couple parts that needed replacing. My takeaway here: Inevitably, things happen so just be prepared to deal with that in this process. There were difficult moments, but Quality worked with us fully to navigate the issues and they got the job done.

Ultimately, the generator was installed in June and we reached startup in late August.

The process of installing a generator provided ample headaches, but hearing it test itself on Mondays offers peace of mind that is tough to put a price tag on.

The installation process itself was about a half-day effort involving your power being cut for a couple hours in that time. Factor that into your plans if you work from home or want to avoid excessively hot or cold days. But overall, it was rather unobtrusive. The startup process was also straightforward. It does involve a brief power cut to test the generator. I got to see first-hand what would happen if we lost power, and admittedly it’s pretty cool. The power goes off, and within about 10 seconds, the generator turns on and life inside the home can resume a degree of normalcy. To ensure things stay operational, the generator is set to test itself once a week, and if anything is flagged, they’ll come out to see what’s up.

All in all, the installation process itself is not that bad. But it was a long road, and it certainly was not without a couple points of legitimate frustration. Despite a couple trip-ups, Quality does good work overall, and they have fairly comprehensive maintenance and monitoring services as well. All my interactions with their staff were positive. And to their credit, they apologized and explained the issues whenever things hit a snag.

If you decide to get a generator, plan ahead and prepare to be patient. Another piece of advice? Pay attention when they explain certain elements of the process. There may come a point where you have to explain to someone why something was done a certain way (like me trying to resolve issues between a plumber and CenterPoint). That can be taxing, but it will save you frustration. You don’t need to be an electrician or plumber to understand the whole process but ask questions and give the installers your attention.

Now, say a generator is not in the cards for you. There are alternatives to keep the critical functions of your home up and running in the event of power loss. Reliant is knowledgeable about these solutions as well and will work with you to find the right product for your lifestyle.

  • Goal Zero, Reliant’s sister company, provides numerous affordable and flexible power solutions, including portable power stations that can be charged through solar panels, power banks for smaller devices, lanterns and more – all perfect for when storms roll through or getting outdoors.
  • These devices can power everything from fridges and internet modems to phones, laptops and even critical medical devices. They can also integrate directly with your home’s circuits for a seamless experience.
  • In the event of a major storm or grid-related problems, portable backup power solutions will give you some peace-of-mind that you’ll have power to keep important devices charged and stay connected to family and friends.
  • • To learn more about backup power options, visit (Reliant customers receive a 15 percent discount on Goal Zero products!)

Overall, I am grateful and relieved that this process is finally over. But as I said, while frustrating, the peace of mind we have now is tough to replicate. So was it worth it? I believe so. I also have confidence I can assist Eric in the event of a power-breaking storm! And that’s good for everyone.