Posted by Eric Berger at 8:13 AM
Well, it’s over for the coast. After making landfall early Thursday morning at Cameron, Louisiana, Hurricane Laura has continued to move northward at a fast clip, about 15 mph. At 7 am CT the center was located near Fort Polk, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Sometime later today or this evening Matt will be along to provide a roundup of its many, many damages. Some of the first-light images this morning show about what you would expect.
— aimée hebert (@theaimeehebert) August 27, 2020
Now, for a change, we’ll actually do a forecast for Houston rather than focusing exclusively on the tropics. If you’re new to the site, most of the time, we provide a once-a-day forecast on weekday mornings. (Because, hey, sometimes there’s only so much you can write about Houston’s weather when it’s hot, sunny, and humid). As ever, if inclement weather threatens, we’re here 24/7. Since that is no longer the case, we’ll return to our regular programming.
As Laura pulls away from the Gulf coast Houston is seeing a dry, northwesterly flow. This has made dewpoints a few degrees lower this morning across the region, at the surface. We’re going to see some clouds today, but despite this, thanks to the drier flow, it’s still going to get plenty hot. Look for low to mid-90s near the coast, and upper 90s inland. For coastal areas, after astronomical high tides occur this morning, we expect any residual high water to recede. Rain chances will remain near zero until late this afternoon or the overnight hours, but even then will remain quite low.
This day offers the best chance of rain, as Laura pulls away and the onshore flow resumes. The following map of precipitable water shows the center of Laura on Friday shortly afternoon, and the trailing remnants of moisture that may produce some showers and thunderstorms over Houston. I’d rate rain chances at 40 to 50 percent, better to the east than west, and accumulations don’t look overly impressive.
Skies will be partly to mostly sunny, on Friday but the increased moisture should help limit temperatures into the mid-90s.
Saturday and Sunday
Our weekend forecast calls for mostly sunny skies, with highs in the mid-90s. We think there will be enough residual moisture along the coast to generate at least some scattered showers. But I don’t think we’re going to get the kinds of widespread showers the region sort of needs after a mostly quite dry August. (In this sense, while Laura’s more eastward track saved Houston from any significant winds, it also kept a decent shot of rainfall away). In any case, most outdoor activities should be fine, just have a plan to deal with a passing shower.
Next week and beyond
The first week of September looks fairly hot and sunny—standard fare for this part of the year. As for rain, there will be some, but probably not much. Some of the models are starting to flirt with a cool front reaching Houston by around September 10, but there are so many “mirage” fronts at this time of year I’m not buying it for now.
Beyond Laura we’re seeing the potential for more activity, but there are no imminent threats to the Gulf or Caribbean so let’s just all breathe a sigh of relief. We’ve got another four or five weeks to get through and then we’re really into fall.