Month: February 2017

February began with 80-degree weather, and it’s going to end with 80-degree weather for southeast Texas. In between just a single, solitary day (February 16th) recorded a below normal temperature. For Houston, it’s really been like the second half of winter never happened.

Today

As mentioned, temperatures today will be quite warm, likely rising into the low- to mid-80s under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Lows tonight will probably only fall to about 70 degrees. For February—even the end of the month—this is just incredibly steamy weather.

Wednesday

The pre-dawn hours on Wednesday will remain warm, but a cold front will move through the area between sunrise and about noon. The big question is whether it rains. While there surely will be ample atmospheric moisture (thanks to the onshore flow Monday and today), and lift from the front, it seems probable that a capping inversion will limit rainfall.

There is plenty of moisture to work with (light greens) tomorrow, but a cap will probably limit widespread showers. (Weather Bell)

 

Thus while we can’t rule out showers and a few thunderstorms, I think the front will largely be a dry or briefly wet passage. Highs Wednesday will probably hit about 80 degrees before temperatures cool off (along with much drier air) during the afternoon hours. Overnight lows will fall to around 50 degrees.

(Space City Weather is sponsored this month by Darrell Lee’s The Gravitational Leap)

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You may have noticed that this month a local author, Darrell Lee, sponsored Space City Weather. It’s the first time that’s happened (but not the last, check back in April). Anyway, as part of the sponsorship I agreed to read the book and post a short review. Spoiler alert: I liked it!

In his first book Lee has plunged us several centuries into the future, into a post-nuclear holocaust world, where there is a small band of civilized people beset by several tribes of nomads. While a tale about a post-apocalyptic world hardly plows new ground in the science fiction genre, this story does not feel well-worn, nor unoriginal. Quite the contrary, this is an interesting world, with an interesting story, and unwinds the misfortunes that led our heroes to their present plight in a very, very cold world. And without giving too much of the story away, let me also say that for Texas residents there are some recognizable landmarks in the second half of the book.

(The Gravitational Leap)

 

As a first effort, this is a fun read. There are a few moments where the author’s inexperience breaks through, in passages that do more “telling” than “showing,” and some awkward dialogue, but truthfully these are minor quibbles. My biggest criticism is not a bad one—the book is too short, and could have benefited from a little more character development. But it’s a good thing, I’d say, when you leave your reader wanting more!

Anyway, check out the Gravitational Leap here, if you’re interested.

After a brief cool spell this weekend, perhaps it is only right that Houston ends meteorological winter (December through February) on a warm note. Houston has already set a record for most 80-degree days this winter, and it seems likely we will end with the warmest average temperature in more than 120 years of records. We’ll have the full wrap-up on that later this week when the numbers become official.

But it hasn’t just been Houston of course. I wanted to share with you this amazing tidbit from the National Weather Service office in the Windy City: “Chicago’s about to do something its never done in 146 years of record keeping: go the entire months of January & February with no snow on the ground.”

Today and Tuesday

Houston will rise back into the 80s today and Tuesday to end winter, after overnight lows barely dropped into the upper 60s on Monday morning.

Although moisture levels will be fairly high for the next two days, there’s some question as to whether it will actually rain. This is due to a capping inversion, which probably will hold for most of the area. An inversion occurs where temperatures above the surface of the Earth are higher than at the surface, and this prevents warm, moist air at the surface from rising. In any case, know that there is the potential for showers and thunderstorms to develop the next couple of days, but they probably won’t due to the cap.

(Space City Weather is sponsored this month by Darrell Lee’s The Gravitational Leap)

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After a nice, albeit warm day on Thursday, we’ll see a near-repeat today. This before a cold front gives us even nicer weather tomorrow.

Today & Saturday

No record highs were set on Thursday, though Houston did eclipse 80° for the 19th time this winter, extending our record. We should be able to make it an even 20 days today. Officially, highs should peak in the low to mid 80s after some morning clouds give way to sunshine.

Speaking of clouds, be on the lookout this morning (especially southeast of Houston), as there could be some neat wavy or rolling type low clouds. What appears to be an “undular bore” or “gravity wave” is coming through Houston this morning.

An undular bore or gravity wave was seen coming through Houston on radar this morning, as indicated by the “wavy” nature of wind velocities. (GR Level 3)

It’s not a rare event, but it’s cool when you can catch it.

You may not really notice it, but a cold front is going to plow through the region later today. The wind will shift to an offshore direction and humidity will plummet.

Dewpoints and humidity will plummet today as the cold front moves through the region. (Weather Bell)

 

This will lead to a crisp, cool night tonight with lows in 40s in most places (near 50 in the city). It also means Saturday will be epic. Highs will hit the upper 60s to near 70°, and we’ll have oodles of sunshine and low humidity. Bottle it up and save it.

(Space City Weather is sponsored this month by Darrell Lee’s The Gravitational Leap) Read More…