Author: Eric Berger

Dog’s breath weather descends upon Houston now

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:55 AM

One of my favorite sayings about Houston’s weather comes from Bill Read, a long-time meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s office in League City, who later served as director of the National Hurricane Center from 2008 to 2012. He characterized the morning humidity in Houston, during the summer, as “dog’s breath weather.” And with low temperatures only around 80 degrees this week, and dewpoints in the upper 70s, it will definitely feel like a dog breathing on your face in Houston for the time being. Other than that, there’s not much to say about Houston’s weather in the days ahead. It’s gonna be hot and humid.

Today will be a warm one for Texas. (Weather Bell)

Wednesday

Atmospheric moisture levels remain fairly high today, but with high pressure building in it will be difficult for that surface moisture to rise and produce rain showers. So while we’ll definitely see some clouds today, I think rain showers will be isolated at best. Highs should reach into the low- to mid-90s with lots of that aforementioned humidity.

Thursday and Friday

Hot and sunny. Need we say more? OK. Highs in the low- to mid-90s. Find some shade.

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Despite a tropical air mass, rain showers have been really hit or miss across the Houston region over the last four days. Some areas, like The Woodlands, have picked up 3 or more inches of rain. Other parts of south and central Harris County have received no rain at all. Pretty much everyone has seen a lot of gray skies, but that will now change as tropical moisture from former Hurricane Barry moves away, and high pressure moves into Houston.

Tuesday

Bit of a tricky forecast for today, as atmospheric moisture levels remain elevated, and high pressure really hasn’t begun to assume control of our weather just yet. However, there are no significant forcings for rainfall today, so we’re probably looking at scattered showers and thunderstorms today—not the kind of slow-moving clumps of storms we saw on Monday in areas like southern Montgomery County. A few areas may pick up a half inch of rain, or so, but most of Houston will probably remain dry. Skies otherwise should be partly sunny, with highs in the low 90s.

We will probably see a lot of 100-degree readings across Tuesday on Tuesday. (Pivotal Weather)

Wednesday and Thursday

As high pressure builds over the area, we should start to see mostly sunny days, with rain chances only in the 10 to 20 percent range (mostly during the afternoon, along the sea breeze). These will be prototypical July days for Houston, with lots of sunshine, and highs in the low- to mid-90s. Nighttime temperatures in the upper 70s won’t offer much relief and the humidity will add to the sultry mix.

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Most of the Houston area remained dry—if cloudy—on Sunday. But the moist atmosphere in the wake of fading Tropical Depression Barry remained evident in areas such as Beaumont, which picked up 4 inches of rain. This moist atmosphere remains for one more day, and along with it the potential for heavy rainfall, before a drier pattern begins to build on Tuesday.

Monday

The highest risk for heavy rainfall remains east of the Houston metro area today, from Beaumont through Louisiana. Most of the city and surrounding counties will see less than one-half inch of rain. However, the eastern half of Houston remains at a slight risk of picking up an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain fairly quickly. This could cause brief street flooding in a worst case scenario. Otherwise, partly cloudy skies should help to limit temperatures in the low 90s, but alas the humidity will be oppressive.

Part of Houston faces a “slight” chance for excessive rainfall on Monday. (NOAA)

Tuesday

Rain chances will fall back to about 20 or 30 percent, as moisture levels remain fairly high in the atmosphere, but the region begins to feel the influence of high pressure. Any showers and thunderstorms that do develop should be fairly short lived. Partly to mostly sunny skies should allow high temperatures to climb back into the low- to mid-90s.

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Just a quick afternoon update to note that the forecast for Tropical Storm Barry has not changed appreciably today. While it shows some signs of getting its act together, the strongest winds remain far from the storm’s center. As of 4pm CT maximum sustained winds are 40mph.

The latest model guidance continues to suggest that either a strongish tropical storm (more likely), or possibly a weak hurricane, will move into Louisiana on Saturday. The primary threat is heavy rains, with the potential for an additional 10 to 20 inches of rainfall across already sodden areas. Of further concern is that the Mississippi River is already swollen due to drainage from flooded Midwestern areas. Finally, there is the threat of storm surge, particularly along the Atchafalaya River and Shell Beach.

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

In regard to Barry, the greater Houston area should remain in the clear, with only perhaps 40 to 50 percent rain chances this weekend—higher near the coast, lesser inland—and probable accumulations of 1 inch or less. Galveston will be more susceptible to higher winds and thunderstorms this weekend than, say, Katy, but the entire Houston region is likely to lie on the far periphery of Barry’s action. Tides are unlikely to be a significant problem, although rip currents could be problematic.

We’ll have a full update in the morning.