Rains today, but early summer heat coming to Houston soon

Houston’s pattern of scattered to widespread showers now seems likely to continue for one or two days before tapering off by the middle of Memorial Day Weekend. After this, we’re likely headed into a strikingly warm pattern for late May and early June, with high temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s next week. Summer is coming.

High pressure builds early next week over Texas. (Ominous music plays). (Weather Bell)


Atmospheric moisture levels remain pretty high today, probably around 2 inches of precipitable water for some locations, which generally means there’s a healthy chance of rain. I’d expect that coverage will be slightly more widespread that on Tuesday, with areas that do see rain getting on average about one-half inch. Rain chances are probably better for coastal areas today, than inland. High temperatures will probably rise into the upper 80s under mostly cloudy skies.

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Tropical disturbance likely to remain east of Texas

Houston saw another good round of rain showers on Monday, with the region generally receiving a few hundredths of an inch to as much as two inches over the Galena Park area. Prospects for a sunny weekend are looking up. While the National Hurricane Center predicts a system moving into the Gulf of Mexico has a 40 percent chance of becoming a depression or tropical storm, as we’ll discuss below it’s unlikely that Houston will see significant effects.

Five-day tropical outlook. (National Hurricane Center)


Moisture levels have fallen, but overall the pattern should be similar today across the Houston area as Monday. A partly sunny start to the morning should give way to mostly cloudy skies later, as temperatures warm into the 80s, and begin to generate scattered showers. Overall, I expect coverage to be less than on Monday, and for accumulations to be less as well. However we should still see a few heavy thunderstorms, with attendant winds and lightning. High temperatures will probably be about 90 degrees, and rains should end by around sunset as temperatures begin to fall.

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Sunday’s heavy rains signal a pattern change for Houston

After a prolonged dry spell, rains returned to Houston on Sunday. For some areas such as northwest Houston, rain totals runneth over with 4 to 6 inches. For other areas, including parts of southeast Houston, just a few drops fell. Probably the bigger news is that we’re now likely transitioning toward a wetter period after an extremely dry month. We’re also going to need to watch for a potentially rainy Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday’s rain accumulation. (National Weather Service)


Like on Sunday, atmospheric moisture levels remain pretty high, and enough instability remains that we’re likely to see widespread showers again later this morning as temperatures rise into the 80s. I don’t think accumulations will be as high as on Sunday, but we’ll definitely need to watch out for a few heavy showers. Temperatures probably will remain in the upper 80s with lots of clouds. I’d expect any remaining showers to die off this evening with the loss of daytime heating.

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Storms rolling through northern half of Houston

Rising moisture levels have combined with rising air to form some moderate-to-strong showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, primarily to the north and west of Houston. The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for some of these areas where up to 5 inches of rain have fallen. The advisory (shown below) is in effect through this evening for Houston.

Area of flood advisory in effect until 8:15 pm Sunday. (National Weather Service)

These storms are associated with an outflow boundary, and this complex should slowly move to the southeast this evening. As it does so, rain showers should move into the central and perhaps southern Houston areas, but the storms should also weaken as this happens because atmospheric conditions are less favorable closer to the coast. This is somewhat unfortunate, because the southern half of Houston has not seen significant rainfall in a month. Overall, I would expect showers to die out late this evening, or by around midnight.

Some street flooding is already occurring in areas of the flood advisory, but because the region has been so dry for so long, bayous and creeks should remain within their banks.