Month: November 2020

As recently as Friday, many parts of the Houston area saw temperatures reach 80 degrees. But a potent front that blew in early on Sunday—a few gusts near 40 mph were recorded later in the day—will bring our region its coldest weather of the season. A light freeze is likely tonight for all but the urban core of Houston and coastal areas.

Also, today is the final day of our 2020 fundraiser—you can buy merchandise or simply donate funds. The response this year has been just wonderful. In addition to raising plenty of money to keep Space City Weather humming and improve our offerings, we’re going to be donating more than $5,000 to the SBP charity that helps people rebuild after hurricanes.

Monday

Winds are continuing to blow from the northwest this morning, and may gust up to about 20 mph throughout the day as cold, dry air continues to move into the region. Skies will be mostly sunny, but highs will only briefly rise above 50 degrees for most areas. As winds die down tonight, the region will see its coldest night since February. Much of the area, excepting coastal counties, will see a light freeze early on Tuesday morning, and a freeze warning is in effect for much of the region.

NOAA forecast for low temperatures on Tuesday morning. (Weather Bell)

Tuesday

After a cool start, Tuesday will warm into the 60s. We’ll start out with sunny skies, but as winds shift to come from the south, we’ll see increasing cloud cover during the late morning or afternoon hours. Lows Tuesday night will only drop into the 50s for most of Houston.

Wednesday

Conditions will be mostly cloudy on Wednesday as the next front approaches our region. Although the timing of this system is still not locked in—it probably will move through Houston some time during the middle of the day—it does seem likely to bring another shot of rainfall as it passes. Most of the area will see, roughly, on the order of 1 inch of rain. Precipitation chances will probably end Wednesday evening, or so. This will be another reasonably strong front, but it likely will not drive the region’s temperatures below freezing in Houston.

Thursday and Friday

Houston will enjoy a pair of sunny, winter-like days, with highs in the 50s and lows likely in the 30s for inland areas, and 40s along the coast.

Saturday and Sunday

Temperatures will begin to rebound by the weekend, but at this point our best guess is that highs will be around 60 degrees both days, with lows around 40 degrees. Skies should be partly to mostly sunny—so for now we expect a rather nice winter-like weekend!

Map of 2020 tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. (WikiProject)

Tropics

The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends today, and it has been a record one, with 30 total storms, including 13 hurricanes. (It’s always possible that we may see one more stray storm in December). Houston was directly affected by Tropical Storm Beta in September, but also experienced indirect effects from hurricanes Laura and Delta. Matt and I will have more to say about this season of seasons in the next week or so.

A lot to get to today, but I want to start by saying that I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was as enjoyable and, most importantly, safe as possible. It’s been a rough year, and I hope you were able to find some time to be at peace with everything. I’ll echo Eric’s sentiments from yesterday and say I am grateful for your trust and loyalty. It’s a honor to be of service and to be able to work with a fine partner like Eric. Thank you to all!

Let’s kick today off with a quick bullet point summary of what’s happening here.

  • Multiple rounds of rain will move through the area today and tomorrow, ending on Sunday morning, totaling 2 to 4 inches on average with amounts of 4 to 6 inches or even a bit more in spots.
  • Localized street flooding will be the biggest concern, as the dry ground should be able to absorb most of what falls. No flood watches are in effect as of Friday morning.
  • Some storms could be strong to severe with gusty winds or hail on Friday, but heavy rain remains the biggest impact expected from this event.
  • Much cooler, drier weather will follow on Sunday and early next week.

Today and tonight

Heavy rain has already begun to move into the area this morning as an area of low pressure, a couple fronts, and a favorable atmosphere above combine for a healthy rainfall setup.

Robust rainfall has already started to move across the western and northern halves of the Houston region this morning. This will continue off and on through the day. (Weathernerds.org)

Expect the rain to come in waves today, pouring for a while, perhaps dry for a chunk of time as well. Rain totals should add up to about an inch or two on average, but there will likely be a couple areas that see as much as 3 to 4 inches of rain just today. In addition to heavy rainfall, today’s storms may be capable of producing some small hail or strong, gusty winds. A widespread severe weather outbreak is not expected, however.

Look for temperatures in the 70s today, easing into the 60s this evening. Rainfall will probably become a bit more intermittent this evening and overnight, though we probably never actually dry out completely.

Saturday & Sunday

A strong upper level storm system will sweep into the region tomorrow, initiating another round of off and on rain and thunderstorms. Rains will again be heavy at times through the day and into tomorrow evening. The severe weather threat tomorrow is fairly low, so that’s not a serious concern. Another inch or two of rain, with locally higher amounts will be possible before things calm down tomorrow night and Sunday morning.

When all is said and done, between the rains Friday and Saturday, we expect about 2 to 4 inches of rainfall on average, with areas of 4 to 6 inches likely. A couple smaller areas could see amounts as high as 6 to 8 inches.

Total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches on average with areas of 4 to 6 inches are likely. A couple smaller locations could even see as much as 6 to 8 inches before all is said and done. (NOAA)

In terms of flooding, given the dry weather of late (see below), we can actually absorb most of this rain. There are no flood watches posted in our area as of Friday morning, and we will not be issuing any SCW Flood Scale guidance for this either. That said, if we were to have to escalate things, it would most likely be to Stage 1 and probably not much worse. This rain should be more beneficial than problematic overall.

The rain ends sometime in the predawn hours or early morning on Sunday, as a cold front sweeps through. Look for winds to crank up behind the front, with northerly or northwesterly winds of 15 to 25 mph, and higher gusts over the bays and Gulf.

Temperatures will spend much of Saturday in the 60s before cooling to near 50 on Sunday morning (cooler north and west perhaps). Sunday afternoon will see gradual clearing and eventually sunshine with highs only in the upper-50s.

Next week

Monday should still be breezy and chilly. Look for morning lows to start off in the low to mid-40s in Houston and probably 30s in some outlying areas. We’ll warm into the mid-50s with plentiful sunshine. Tuesday will be the chilly morning, with lows in the 30s most everywhere away from the immediate coast. There will be risk of a light freeze north & west of Houston; basically north of I-10 and west of US-59/I-69.

Tuesday morning will probably be the coldest of the season so far. Freezing temperatures are possible west and north of Houston. (Weather Bell)

Tuesday afternoon should again feature plenty of sunshine with highs in the upper-50s to perhaps near 60 degrees. Our next front arrives on Wednesday or early Thursday it would appear, which should setup another round of chilly, fair weather into next weekend. There are still questions as to how much rain we can expect with that next front, but it likely won’t be as drawn out as this weekend’s event.

Drought dented

The good news with all this rain for the region is that it’s occurring just in time, likely again saving us from a true drought for the time being. This will be at least the third or fourth time since late spring that we’ve had a significant rain event arrive just as it appeared we were headed into drought. Yesterday’s drought monitor update had 84 percent of Texas in drought, up from 75 percent a week ago.

Drought covers 84% of Texas this week, including most areas surrounding Harris County. Our rainfall this weekend will dent this considerably. (Drought Monitor)

Drought has finally entered the outskirts of Harris County, and is widespread in surrounding counties. We should now be able to take a fairly lengthy break from discussing drought after this weekend. Only 2 weeks ago it appeared we had nothing in the pipeline, so it’s always interesting how a few changing pieces can change the whole storyline.

We’ll keep you posted this weekend if anything changes or if rainfall becomes more serious than we believe it will be right now. Otherwise, enjoy and stay safe.

Good morning, and Happy Thanksgiving! While this has been a very difficult year I nonetheless have a lot to be thankful for—my family, a great partner on this website in Matt, and an even greater community to write for. Please know that the thing Matt and I value the most is your trust, and we will never stop trying to earn it.

Thanksgiving Day

Temperatures have generally fallen into the 50s this morning for the region, except for coastal communities. You may see some sunshine this morning, but clouds will quickly fill in as winds shift from the northeast to east—say goodbye, because we’re not going to see the Sun again until Sunday. Showers will develop this morning, but remain primarily offshore. However we can’t rule out at least some light precipitation along, and southeast of Interstate 69 during the daytime today. High temperatures will warm into the mid-70s for most areas.

NOAA forecast for total rainfall between now and Monday. (Pivotal Weather)

Friday and Saturday

More organized storms should begin to develop by Friday morning, and then we should see our best chances for heavy rainfall from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. We’re continuing to lean toward the region seeing a “good soaking” rather than “serious flooding.” The forecast models continue to suggest most of the area will see 2 to 5 inches of rain over the two-day period, which is more than manageable considering the dry state of our soils. However, we may see some more localized areas of heavy rainfall, and if rain rates pulse up to 1.5 to 2 inches per hour we will see some street flooding. We think these heaviest rains will probably come right along the coast.

Beyond the potential for heavy rainfall, there may be some small hail, although chances for this or any other type of severe weather remain quite low. Bottom line: If you’re going to be out and about from Friday afternoon through Saturday night, check the radar before you go. Things will probably be fine, but it does not hurt to check.

By Tuesday morning, it will be very cold across Houston. (Pivotal Weather)

Sunday and next week

It still looks like a strong front will push into Houston early on Sunday, reaching the city before sunrise, and likely pushing off the coast around sunrise. Skies should clear quickly after the front’s passage, and Sunday will be a blustery day in the wake of the front, with highs struggling to reach 60 degrees. Next Monday night looks quite cold, with inland areas possibly seeing a light freeze. If you live in, say, The Woodlands, you may want to monitor the forecast to see if precautions are needed to protect tender plants.

Matt will have your forecast on Friday morning. If warranted by heavier than expected rainfall, we’ll update the site this weekend.

Good morning. There’s a lot going on with Houston’s forecast over the next week—a veritable feast, one might say—from mild weather on Thanksgiving, to the potential for heavy rain this weekend, to much colder conditions next week. So let’s jump right in!

Wednesday

It’s quite muggy across Houston this morning, but a reasonably strong front is pushing toward the metro area and should move off the coast by around noon. Winds will shift to come from the north behind the front, and this will bring drier air and clearing skies this afternoon. Look for highs to fall somewhere in the mid-70s, with lows tonight dropping into the upper 40s for inland areas to around 60 degrees along the coast.

Thanksgiving will start out chilly, but the cool air won’t last. (Pivotal Weather)

Thanksgiving Day

Winds will veer to come from the east by Thursday morning, and so while I think we’ll see sunny skies during the morning, clouds will build in the afternoon. Highs likely will reach the mid- to upper-70s for most areas. A few light showers will be possible during the late afternoon or evening, but the better rain chances should wait until after midnight. Low temperatures Thursday night will struggle to fall below 70 degrees.

Friday through Saturday night

The combination of ample moisture at the surface, and a favorable upper atmosphere will generate widespread rain showers on Friday, Saturday, and perhaps early Sunday morning. I suspect these will produce periods of on-and-off showers, with some intermittently heavy rainfall. Models are now a little more bullish on rainfall totals, so the expectation is for generally 2 to 5 inches of rain across the area, with some locally higher totals. Given the state of our dry soils, this should not lead to more than street flooding, but as ever we’ll be watching. Frankly, this is much-needed rain so we’re not going to complain too much. Highs on Friday and Saturday will likely reach about 70 degrees.

Total rainfall forecast for now through Sunday. (Pivotal Weather)

Sunday

A strong front should push into Houston on Saturday night—precise timing still to be determined—and this influx of much drier air will bring any lingering storms to an end on Sunday morning. Sunday will be a blowy day, with temperatures likely peaking at around 60 degrees and 20 mph winds with stronger gusts making it feel cooler. Lows Sunday night should drop into the 40s for all but the immediate coast.

The outlook for next week’s temperatures: Cooler than normal. (Pivotal Weather)

Next week

It looks like Monday night will be the coldest of next week, with low temperatures likely dropping into the 30s in parts of Houston—areas north and northwest of Houston, such as Conroe and Brenham, may see a freeze but it’s too early to make that call. As our air will be very dry, I think we can safely rule out any kind of wintry precipitation. Highs will likely remain in the 60s for much of the week, with medium-range models suggesting the cooler weather will stick around for awhile.

We’ll be back on Thanksgiving morning with a brief post to update rainfall expectations for the weekend. Also, we’re entering the final days of our annual fundraiser—your support so far has been amazing.