Posted by Eric Berger at 6:53 AM
The forecast remains virtually the same, day by day, for the next week as high pressure dominates our weather. So this post will also take a look at expectations for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began about seven weeks ago.
Hot, mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 90s. Afternoon heat index values will be 105 degrees or higher, so please take care outside.
Texas will be mighty hot today. (Pivotal Weather)
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
More of the same. I expect high temperatures at one point this weekend will reach 100 degrees. Forecast conditions just won’t change much day by day: Heat, sunshine, no rain, high humidity. This is the Houston we know and love. Right?
The high heat continues for the first half of next week, but there is a chance the high pressure system will break down during the Wednesday through Friday period, allowing for some decent rain chances to return, and for temperatures to fall back into a slightly more reasonable range. It’s something to hope for.
Posted by Eric Berger at 6:56 AM
Houston last officially recorded a 100-degree temperature on July 29, 2017—hitting 100 degrees right on the nose. This was, in fact, the only 100-degree day during all of last year. Perhaps we will get that lucky again this year with a paucity of very hot days, but some of the higher resolution models indicate the mercury will get to the century mark later this week, perhaps by Friday or Saturday. If this occurs, it should not come as too great of a surprise, as the average first date of Houston’s first 100-degree day is July 24th during the calendar year.
Houston’s 100-degree day climatology. (National Weather Service)
Typically, Houston records about five 100-degree days in a given year, although inland areas (further away from the Gulf waters in the 80s) typically record more, and areas south of Interstate 10 fewer.
Now we come to the actual forecast. Which is pretty easy. Expect sunny and hot conditions, with highs in the upper 90s. Overnight lows will only fall slightly below 80 degrees. The Saharan dust that was so prominent on Monday should begin to fade a bit.
Posted by Eric Berger at 6:51 AM
Houston has had a moderate first half of July, with an average high temperature below 93 degrees, and overall temperatures slightly below normal for this time of year. That is now about to change, as we shift into the mid- and upper-90s, virtually no chance of rain, and full-on summer. We hope you like it hot, because hot is what you’re going to get.
Remember all those clouds and healthy rain chances last week? Yeah, they’re pretty much gone. During most of last week the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, typically measured as precipitable water, was quite high as we saw values 50 to 100 percent above normal for this time of year. But this morning the tables have turned, with precipitable water values only about 50 to 70 percent of normal levels.
Precipitable water forecast for 7am CT on Monday morning. (Weather Bell)
So rain chances are going to go way down today, and go pretty much away for quite a while. Skies today should be partly sunny with highs in the mid-90s. What you probably will notice is a fine, yellow haze. That’s the Saharan dust that will be with us for the next few days. It will at least make for some pretty sunsets.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:06 AM
Our old friend SAL, the Saharan Air Layer (dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa) will be making a return visit to Texas this weekend, at least in higher quantities than we’ve seen this week. It will bring some grimy air quality by Sunday, as well as some potentially interesting sunrises and sunsets.
Model data from NASA shows thicker Saharan dust arriving in Houston on Sunday and Monday. (NASA)
You can see from the animation we’ve put together with NASA data that the brightest colors, or thickest dust arrives on Sunday afternoon, and it should be with us through about Tuesday. Dust has been with us to some extent much of this week, but it will be much more noticeable by later Sunday. So if you are an allergy sufferer (raises hand) or have respiratory ailments, worsening air quality on Sunday and Monday may cause you some discomfort. Air quality should improve after Tuesday. If interested, you can check the Texas air quality outlook here.
Today through Sunday
We’ve had a bit of a late start to thunderstorm activity over Houston the last two days, waiting until 3 PM or later in most cases. Yesterday’s storms were particularly frisky, with parts of Houston’s Inner Loop and West Houston seeing 1-2″ of rain. The Woodlands took home the trophy on Thursday with nearly 3″ of rain in spots.
I’m guessing we will see further hit or miss storms develop today through Sunday. Storm chances will generally diminish each day through the weekend compared to where they have been. Still, a few showers or storms should pop up each morning near the coast (you may have had rain in La Marque or Texas City already this morning, for example), advancing inland during the afternoon. Like yesterday, the handful of places that do see rain could see a fair bit of it in short order, so just be aware of that this weekend.
For most of the area, the majority of the weekend just looks partly to mostly sunny and hot. The last few days saw high temperatures exceed weather model guidance. We’ve hit the mid-90s, despite forecasts generally in the lower 90s. There’s a good chance we’ll do that again this weekend. We’ll call it generally low- to mid-90s for most of the area through Sunday. Overnight lows will be in the middle or upper-70s with humidity.