When tropical systems get going, the internet can be a noisy place. So Eric and I thought it would be a good idea to give everyone a user’s guide to the next tropical system that you’ll be hearing about.
What is it?
Invest 97L is the current classification of the tropical wave on the way to the Caribbean. Satellite imagery from late this afternoon shows Invest 97L approaching the Leeward and Windward Islands.
Invest 97L is rotating toward the Caribbean islands this evening. (NOAA/NHC)
“Invests” are the classification given by the National Hurricane Center to tropical disturbances that may develop into organized depressions, storms, or future hurricanes. There are numerous “invests” each hurricane season, and the cycle runs from 90 to 99 and then repeats. Basically, it’s a nice way to keep disturbances orderly in their computer systems for tracking and monitoring purposes.
The National Hurricane Center sent out reconnaissance aircraft today and were unable to find a center of circulation at the surface, so they’ve held off on classifying this as a tropical depression or tropical storm (which will be named Matthew, assuming it gets there). Read More…
The much-discussed first front of the fall season has pushed off the coast and into the Gulf of Mexico, but drier (and cooler) air has largely lagged behind. As we suggested on Monday, it will be a slow process, but much more fall-like weather is still on the way.
Temperatures this morning show the progress of cold air into Texas. (Weather Bell)
Very heavy rains have fallen over night along the I-35 corridor of Texas, with a focus on Bexar County. Up to 7 inches have fallen in the metro area there. If you are traveling toward the San Antonio area today please take care due to flash flooding occurring across the city. As the front slowly moves into the Houston region today we should see our rain chances pick up, but I do not expect more than 1 to 2 inches of rain for most of the Houston region.
As the front trudges toward Houston we should see an increase in coverage of storms across Houston, especially to the west and north of the city. Highs will be in the mid-80s and I’d expect coverage similar to Sunday, with intermittent heavy rains that might cause some temporary street flooding, but nothing too extreme. The front itself should move through central Houston tonight.
Although the front will probably slog into Houston and off the coast by Tuesday morning, it will take some time for the area see the effects of cooler and drier air. As a result some showers and thunderstorms will remain possible on Tuesday morning, and highs will be possible in the mid- to upper-80s.
Dew points on Tuesday, during the middle of the day. (Weather Bell)
We can now say with increasing confidence that some sort of cool front is coming to Houston, but it does not appear to be a classic, blow-in-from-the-northwest type of system that will knock down humidity and temperatures within the span of a few hours. Rather, drier and eventually cooler air should move into the area rather slowly, over a period from Monday to Wednesday. But something is better than nothing!
Scattered showers over the Gulf of Mexico this morning should migrate in later today, with periods of sunshine and clouds, and scattered showers. Still warm and muggy, with highs near 90 degrees and lows in the mid-70s.
Sunday and Monday
Rain chances will be higher on Sunday and Monday, as moisture pools ahead of the front. Can see most of the area getting between 0.5 and 1.5 inches, with the potential for greater amounts in isolated areas. The “front” might move into central Texas on Sunday night, and will approach the western fringes of the Houston metro area sometime on Monday, probably during the morning. However it is unlikely that much of Houston will see drier air until late Monday at the earliest.
A relative humidity of 50 percent on Wednesday morning? I am ready. (Weather Bell)
As some drier air moves in rain chances should fall, although probably won’t go away entirely. Highs will likely be in the upper 80s. Lows may be anywhere from the low 60s to the west of Houston to the upper 70s near the coast.
Wednesday through Friday
At this point drier air should finally work its way more fully into the area, bringing us mostly sunny skies. I don’t think the global forecast models have a great handle of temperatures yet, but it seems likely we’ll see highs in the 80s (low or high, not clear), and lows in the 60s (again, could be low or high). Although it won’t be cold, the cooler, drier evenings and mornings should nonetheless feel great. And once the first front comes through, it’s easier to get the second one.
Posted on Saturday at 8:10am CT by Eric