Author: Eric Berger

A weak, dying cold front pushed through the Houston area on Saturday night—if you were awoken by storms, that was it—and this will set the stage for a couple of drier days. Initially, we expected this front to stall out near or over Houston, leading to more wet weather, but as it has pushed far enough east most areas should see a bit of a reprieve for a few days from the rain.

Low temperatures on Sunday morning are nice, especially to the west where the front made it. (National Weather Service)

Temperature wise it won’t make too much of a difference, with highs still near around 90 degrees on Sunday and Monday with partly sunny skies, but mornings and evenings should feel a bit more pleasant until the front slides back tomorrow some time.

After this we’ll fall back into a wet pattern beginning later on Tuesday or Wednesday as another front nears the area. Again, we expect this one to stall before or near Houston, leaving us in a muggy, wet pattern. But if we get lucky again, perhaps that front will push through Houston as well, making for nicer weather next weekend. I certainly wouldn’t bet on it at this point, so for now just enjoy what should be a pretty nice Sunday.

Rainy pattern begins to return to Houston today

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:39 AM

After five dry days for most of the Houston region, we will now transition back into a wetter pattern for the next week or so as high pressure moves out of the area. After today, rain chances will likely be 50 percent or higher each day for the next week, although as of now there are no indications of any particularly widespread, heavy rainfall that will lead to significant flooding problems.

Thursday

Some showers will return today, particularly to the west and southwest of the Houston area. However, I expect most of the area to at least see some partly sunny skies, which will allow for high temperatures to get up about 90 degrees. We’ll probably see the most sunshine today that we’re going to see until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Unfortunately, we can probably expect to see fairly widespread showers and thunderstorms this weekend. Again, we don’t anticipate a washout, but rain probably will never be too far away in terms of timing and distance, and some intermittently heavy rainfall is possible. Skies should be mostly cloudy, with high temperatures likely between 85 and 90 degrees.

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

Everyone will want to know how much rainfall is coming, and that is something that is really hard to predict. For example, during the first two weeks of this month the area received wildly variable rainfall amounts from 2 to 20 inches. With the showers and storms this weekend, we can probably generally expect 1 to 3 inches of rain, with some isolated higher totals in the 4 to 6 inch range. Where will these higher totals be? If I had to guess it would be west or southwest of Houston, but overall confidence is fairly low.

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Alas, we’re facing another wet weekend in Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:46 AM

We think next weekend at the end of the month probably looks fairly nice, if that front we mentioned in Tuesday’s post comes to pass. Unfortunately, this immediate weekend doesn’t look great. And by not great, we mean a healthy chance of rain showers with the possibility of locally heavy rainfall.

Houston has generally been dry since Saturday, with partly to mostly sunny skies this week for much of the area. This has been due to high pressure overhead, which has kept some of the Gulf of Mexico moisture at bay, and prevented it from rising into the atmosphere, condensing, forming clouds and—you guessed it—producing rain showers. After today, however, this high pressure will begin sliding to the east.

High pressure (deeper reds) will move east by Friday or so. (right panel). (Weather Bell)

The net effect of this will be to increase moisture levels to above normals, essentially opening up an atmospheric river streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico into the Texas coast. This, combined with some anticipated disturbances in the upper-atmosphere, will once again allow for the development of rain showers.

We don’t have a signal for anything too extreme right now, but rainfall should be widespread enough, and perhaps intermittently heavy, to put a damper on outdoor activities during the Friday through Sunday period.

Animated GIF of atmospheric moisture flowing into Texas on Saturday. Lighter blues indicate deeper moisture. (earth.nullschool.net)

Wednesday

Before the rain chances increase, we’re going to see another warm and mostly sunny day. I don’t think we’ll quite reach the 97 degrees we saw on Tuesday, but a lot of the region probably will get into the mid-90s.

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It’s time. If we define the “first fall cold front” as a nighttime temperature of 65 degrees or below at Bush Intercontinental Airport, then the average date of Houston’s first front is today, September 18. Alas, we’re not going to make it this year, but there are some hints in the models of a front pushing through before the end of this month (more on that below). That would be a good thing, because based upon Houston’s weather history, we only get into October without a “first front” about once every 10 years. And no one wants that to happen, do they?

Climatology of Houston’s first 65 degree night in the fall. (Brian Brettschneider)

Tuesday

Expect a mostly sunny day today, with high temperatures in the low- to mid-90s. This is kind of a classic summer day, and as there won’t be that many more of these this year, be sure and enjoy it if this is your thing.

Wednesday

A day like Tuesday, but with possibly a few afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Expect these to be fairly isolated, however.

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