Month: September 2018

Dreary, unsettled weather returns to Houston

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:14 AM

After a few days off, unsettled weather returned on Thursday, bringing some folks over three inches of rain. Others saw nothing at all, but everyone is likely in line to see at least some rain over the next couple days.

Today

Radar isn’t too active this morning with a few scattered showers — mostly light or occasionally moderate rain.

Radar shows a smattering of showers or lighter rains across the area this morning. (College of DuPage)

As we go into the rest of today, look for scattered downpours and thunderstorms to blossom from later this morning into this afternoon. Like yesterday, we could see locally heavy rainfall in the most persistent storms. Rain amounts will again vary wildly, with some folks seeing little to no rain, while others could see two to four inches in a relatively short time, along with some localized street flooding.

Saturday & Sunday

Unfortunately, the specifics surrounding the forecast this weekend are going to be difficult to lay out. If you’ve lived in Southeast Texas for any length of time, you know that our rain often follows a pattern of feast or famine: Neighborhoods that get soaked may be adjacent to dry neighborhoods. Trying to predict where and when it’s going to rain this weekend is impossible to do more than a few hours in advance, but we know that both Saturday and Sunday carry high chances that it will rain for a period of time during the morning or afternoon hours.

Specific rain amounts will vary significantly from place to place through Sunday evening. On average, expect an inch or two, with some places seeing more and others less. (NWS)

Total rainfall should add up to about an inch to two inches on average across the region by Sunday evening. Some folks will see less than that. Others may see three, four, or five inches of rain or even a little more with some street flooding. If you have outdoor plans this weekend, include an umbrella and an indoor backup if possible. Where the heaviest ultimately falls will depend on how far south a cold front can push, along with other small-scale processes in the atmosphere.

If there’s good news in all this, it’s that our six day string of 90°+ weather should end. We’ll see high temperatures in the mid-80s, with lows in the mid-70s. Yes, it will be unpleasantly humid, but at least it won’t be obscenely hot for later September.

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Rainy pattern begins to return to Houston today

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:39 AM

After five dry days for most of the Houston region, we will now transition back into a wetter pattern for the next week or so as high pressure moves out of the area. After today, rain chances will likely be 50 percent or higher each day for the next week, although as of now there are no indications of any particularly widespread, heavy rainfall that will lead to significant flooding problems.

Thursday

Some showers will return today, particularly to the west and southwest of the Houston area. However, I expect most of the area to at least see some partly sunny skies, which will allow for high temperatures to get up about 90 degrees. We’ll probably see the most sunshine today that we’re going to see until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Unfortunately, we can probably expect to see fairly widespread showers and thunderstorms this weekend. Again, we don’t anticipate a washout, but rain probably will never be too far away in terms of timing and distance, and some intermittently heavy rainfall is possible. Skies should be mostly cloudy, with high temperatures likely between 85 and 90 degrees.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for now through next Wednesday. (Pivotal Weather)

Everyone will want to know how much rainfall is coming, and that is something that is really hard to predict. For example, during the first two weeks of this month the area received wildly variable rainfall amounts from 2 to 20 inches. With the showers and storms this weekend, we can probably generally expect 1 to 3 inches of rain, with some isolated higher totals in the 4 to 6 inch range. Where will these higher totals be? If I had to guess it would be west or southwest of Houston, but overall confidence is fairly low.

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Alas, we’re facing another wet weekend in Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:46 AM

We think next weekend at the end of the month probably looks fairly nice, if that front we mentioned in Tuesday’s post comes to pass. Unfortunately, this immediate weekend doesn’t look great. And by not great, we mean a healthy chance of rain showers with the possibility of locally heavy rainfall.

Houston has generally been dry since Saturday, with partly to mostly sunny skies this week for much of the area. This has been due to high pressure overhead, which has kept some of the Gulf of Mexico moisture at bay, and prevented it from rising into the atmosphere, condensing, forming clouds and—you guessed it—producing rain showers. After today, however, this high pressure will begin sliding to the east.

High pressure (deeper reds) will move east by Friday or so. (right panel). (Weather Bell)

The net effect of this will be to increase moisture levels to above normals, essentially opening up an atmospheric river streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico into the Texas coast. This, combined with some anticipated disturbances in the upper-atmosphere, will once again allow for the development of rain showers.

We don’t have a signal for anything too extreme right now, but rainfall should be widespread enough, and perhaps intermittently heavy, to put a damper on outdoor activities during the Friday through Sunday period.

Animated GIF of atmospheric moisture flowing into Texas on Saturday. Lighter blues indicate deeper moisture. (earth.nullschool.net)

Wednesday

Before the rain chances increase, we’re going to see another warm and mostly sunny day. I don’t think we’ll quite reach the 97 degrees we saw on Tuesday, but a lot of the region probably will get into the mid-90s.

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It’s time. If we define the “first fall cold front” as a nighttime temperature of 65 degrees or below at Bush Intercontinental Airport, then the average date of Houston’s first front is today, September 18. Alas, we’re not going to make it this year, but there are some hints in the models of a front pushing through before the end of this month (more on that below). That would be a good thing, because based upon Houston’s weather history, we only get into October without a “first front” about once every 10 years. And no one wants that to happen, do they?

Climatology of Houston’s first 65 degree night in the fall. (Brian Brettschneider)

Tuesday

Expect a mostly sunny day today, with high temperatures in the low- to mid-90s. This is kind of a classic summer day, and as there won’t be that many more of these this year, be sure and enjoy it if this is your thing.

Wednesday

A day like Tuesday, but with possibly a few afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Expect these to be fairly isolated, however.

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