Author: Eric Berger

Storms rolling through northern half of Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 5:23 PM

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.

So far this month, Houston’s Hobby Airport has recorded only a “trace” of rainfall, which means there has been no measurable amount of precipitation. Looking back at the records for Hobby Airport, which date back to 1931, this has happened just twice at the site previously—in 2003 and 1937. Although I think there’s a chance the airport site makes it through this month without getting any measurable rainfall, I think there’s a greater chance that the region finally sees at least some modest rainfall next week. Let’s hope so, because Hobby (and a lot of other locations in the southern half of the metro area haven’t seen meaningful rain since April 21).

Houston’s Hobby Airport hasn’t recorded measurable rain since April 21. (NWS/Space City Weather)

Thursday and Friday

Houston will remain unseasonably warm to end the work week, with high temperatures likely in the low- to mid-90s, and mostly sunny skies. Nighttime lows in the lower 70s. Near zero percent chance of rain.

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Our official outlook for Summer, 2018 in Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 10:00 AM

Long-time readers of this site will know that we don’t place a whole lot of confidence in seasonal forecasting. Trying to predict weather (note that’s “weather” not “climate”) conditions months in advance is not exactly an exact science. Case-in-point: Much of the Houston area has not gotten a drop of rain in the month of May, and the next week or so looks dry. And yet here’s NOAA’s monthly outlook for precipitation for the month of May, issued on April 30th:

Probably of wetter (green) or drier than normal conditions in May. (NOAA)

This forecast, quite clearly, will likely bust. And it was issued the day before the month of May began. So while I do think there is some value in seasonal forecasting, you should not take it to the bank.

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Record heat descends upon Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:50 AM

Houston’s Intercontinental and Hobby Airports, as well as Galveston, set record highs on Tuesday with the mercury hitting 94, 94, and 88 degrees respectively. This abnormally warm weather should continue for at least another week or so as a mid-summer like pattern of high pressure persists over the region. We’ll probably have to wait that long, as well, before meaningful rain chances return to the area.

May heat records. (National Weather Service)

Wednesday

After starting out in the upper 60s or lower 70s—depending on where you live in Houston—temperatures on Wednesday will climb fairly rapidly across the region. The combination of clear skies and summer-like high pressure should again push high temperatures into the mid-90s. This will be another day that, if you’re planning to do something outside, it’s best to try and do it during the early morning, or evening hours.

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