After very hot and dull weather for the last week or 10 days, our region will see more dynamic conditions during the week ahead as the high pressure system breaks down. This will lead to generally better rain chances and slightly cooler weather.
As most everyone knows, a total solar eclipse will cross the United States today, in a line from Oregon through South Carolina. The Houston area will see about 70 percent of the Sun obscured by the Moon (do not directly look at the Sun), with the maximum coverage at 1:16pm CT. We are going to have to be concerned about clouds today, but for the most part they should be broken enough to see the phenomenon at times (the partial eclipse begins at 11:46am CT and runs through 2:45pm). I’d expect 40 to 60 percent sky cover for most of the area shortly after noon today.
GFS model for cloud cover at noon CT today. Whiter means more cloudy. (Weather Bell)
The region will also see some scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon as pressures fall and atmospheric moisture levels rise, which could be hitting around the time kids are coming home from the first day of school. Where it doesn’t rain, look for highs in the low- to mid-90s.
Tuesday and Wednesday
These will be typical summertime days in Houston, as there will be no major forcing events for our weather. With slightly lower pressures, look for highs in the mid-90s, with partly sunny skies, and about a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and early evening hours.
Summer continues, with not a whole lot of change in the forecast through the weekend. As has been the case for much of the week, a moderately strong ridge of high pressure will continue to assert some control over our weather to bring August-like conditions to the area.
Thursday through Sunday
You know the drill by now—partly to mostly sunny days, high temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s with humidity, and lows in the upper 70s. A few (very few, most likely) areas will see some showers during the late morning and afternoon hours, but for the most part we should be dry. This is classic August weather for Houston.
Monday and Tuesday
By late Sunday or Monday, an upper-level low pressure system will begin to influence our weather as well, which should bring some changes. Most notably, we’ll see a few more clouds (we discuss eclipse concerns below), some better rain chances, and lower high temperatures, perhaps in the low 90s. By no means are we looking at widespread, heavy rainfall, but 30 to 40 percent of the region should see a couple of tenths of an inch of rainfall on both days. Highs should jump back up into the mid-90s by the second half of next week.
Houston remains in a typical August-like pattern, with high pressure largely in control of our weather, but not dominating. Were a strong high overhead we’d be having temperatures around 100 degrees, with no chance of rain. But since the high isn’t dominant, there’s a chance for some scattered rain showers each day. Mind you, most of Houston isn’t going to see rain through Saturday, but there is at least a chance. Since the forecast is rather dull we’ll also talk about the tropics and eclipse weather today.
Wednesday to Saturday
See above. Hot, with highs in the mid- to upper-90s. Warm nights. Mostly sunny. A few showers will develop during the afternoon hours.
Sunday to Tuesday
Pressures fall a bit, allowing for slightly better rain chances, perhaps in the 30 to 40 percent range each day, with the higher end chances for the eastern half of the area. These probably won’t be real soakers—likely some areas will see a couple of tenths of an inch of rain, while most of the area won’t see that much, if any rain. Highs may pull back to the mid-90s. That’s still hot, but we’ve certainly had hotter Augusts.
We have reached the real dog days of summer. The middle of August almost always feels like this, with low temperatures hovering around 80 degrees for most of Houston, and highs in the upper 90s. Afternoon temperatures have reached 96 or 97 degrees the last five days in Houston, and unfortunately that pattern seems unlikely to change significantly for most of the rest of the month.
On Monday a reader wrote in and asked, I know you don’t have a crystal ball and are not clairvoyant, but I’m sooooooo over this summer I need a little encouragement. What does our Fall/ Winter have in store for us? I don’t have much confidence in seasonal forecasts, but I do know this. August is already half over. Already, days are an hour shorter than they were in June. Fall is not here yet, but it also isn’t that far around the corner. We can reasonably begin to expect some relief in about four weeks, or so. Until then—heat.
Length of the day in Houston. White line shows where we are today. (Time and Date)
Tuesday and Wednesday
While pressures are high across the region, they’re not entirely stifling. Some parts of Houston, especially east of Interstate 45, have an outside shot at some showers later this afternoon. Most of Houston will not see rain, but at least there’s a chance. Otherwise, highs will remain in the mid- to upper-90s.