Summer officially begins today, but peak heating is months away

Good morning. Today is the longest day of the year, with a length of 14 hours, 3 minutes, and 30 seconds. For Texas, however, there is typically a considerable lag in peak heating, which does not come until August. This is due both to the fact that July and August are often the region’s sunniest months, as well as warmth moving in from the Gulf of Mexico as it continues to heat up during the next few months. Will July or August be hotter than our torrid June this year? We’ll see.

Date when maximum temperature occurs. (Brian Brettschneider, via Twitter).

Later this morning, look for a sponsored post from Reliant on taking advantage of all this sunshine with solar energy. And tomorrow, thanks in large part to your submissions, we’ll publish a top 10 list of “reasons why this summer heat and drought are just the best.” Yes, there will be some sarcasm in that list.

Tuesday

Houston had its warmest day of the year on Monday, when the thermometer at Bush Intercontinental Airport reached 102 degrees. Temperatures today should be a couple of degrees cooler, as there is a chance for a few more clouds to form, and some isolated showers and thunderstorms later this morning and into the early afternoon hours. If you get hit by a quick shower, consider yourself very lucky. Otherwise expect highs in the upper 90s, with light southeast winds.

Wednesday

This will be a day a lot like Tuesday, with isolated showers and highs in the upper 90s.

High temperature forecast for Sunday. (Weather Bell)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Our confidence is high that the heat wave will peak toward the end of this week and weekend, as high pressure builds directly over the region. Look for daily highs of 100 degrees or perhaps even a touch higher. Sunday at this point looks to be the hottest day, and hoo-boy is it going to be hot. Bru-tal.

Next week

At some point next week, likely on Monday or Tuesday, high pressure will back off some and bring our high temperatures back into the upper 90s, or a bit lower. We should also start to see more clouds and even a moderate chance of rainfall. Do I have great confidence in precipitation next week? I do not. But at least there’s a decent chance. Anything will be better than Sunday.

We’re very, very, very sorry, but this week is going to be even hotter in Houston

We realize that after surviving last week’s extraordinary heat you are probably reading this in hopes of seeing some hope of respite on the horizon. To make a long story short, there’s very little of that of this week. We’re sorry.

As for the heat last week, it truly was quite a bit beyond normal. The average high temperature was 98 degrees across the city, and it now seems certain that we’re going to beat an ugly record. Longtime residents will probably remember the summer of 2011 in Houston. I recall it because, during the month of August, every single day but one recorded a high temperature of 100 degrees or above. Anyway, June of 2011 was extremely hot that year as well, with an average temperature (that’s the daily high and low, divided by two) of 86.2 degrees. Well, my friends, through Sunday we’re averaging 86.5 degrees for this month. And the next 10 days look considerably hotter, so we’re going to smash the temperature record for June in 2011. No, I don’t know if that means this August will be like August 2011. It’s possible, but not a certainty.

If all of this depresses you, we’re here to help. We’re going to create a top 10 list reasons why this year’s heat and drought is actually kind of a good thing. I realize that finding 10 reasons is going to be a struggle, so I’d like your help. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment here, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or send an email.

Monday

High pressure remains the dominant factor in our weather, and high temperatures today should reach 100 degrees for most locations away from the coast. However, there is a slight chance—perhaps 10 to 20 percent—of showers developing along the sea breeze later today. Winds will be light, out of the east-southeast at 5 to 10 mph. Lows tonight may not drop below 80 degrees for most locations.

This week’s forecast calls for pain. (Weather Bell)

Tuesday

Conditions will be a couple of degrees cooler on Tuesday, as there may be a few clouds. Rain chances will probably jump to 20 to 30 percent, and this looks to be the day with the best option for rain for the next week. Look for highs in the mid- to upper-90s.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Heat really builds over the region, beneath the ridge of high pressure. Wednesday may stay in the upper 90s, but Thursday and Friday should see temperatures reach triple digits beneath sunny skies. Hot, hot, hot.

Saturday and Sunday

The heat wave looks to peak this weekend, with temperature readings between 100 to 105 degrees for most locations. It’s going to be brutal.

Next week could see the return of some slightly better rain chances. (Weather Bell)

Next week

The models are fairly consistent in showing the high pressure ridge breaking down about a week from now, and temperatures dropping back into the mid-90s with some better rain chances by next Tuesday or Wednesday. That is a hopeful sign, but because this is forecast to happen 7 or 8 days from now, it is far from something we can take to the bank, I’m afraid.

Houston will see a slight chance of rain the next two days

Steve Earle has long been one of my favorite music artists. He grew up in San Antonio and seemed to understand a little bit about the ways of Texas rainfall. In particular, I often recall his song “The Rain Came Down,” released in 1987, when I think about Houston’s penchant for either flooding or being in a drought during the summer months. The song itself is not about weather, but there’s this one line that just so perfectly captures my feeling about Houston summers:

And the rain came down
It’ll wash you away and there ain’t never enough

For a five year period from 2015 to 2020, it washed us away. Increasingly, this year, there ain’t ever enough. Take a look at this rainfall graphic for Hobby Airport, which shows the region receiving less than half of its normal rainfall for 2022. It’s that way for much of the region, especially for areas along and south of Interstate 10. Unfortunately, while we have a chance of rain the next two days, there continues to be little sign of the overall pattern changing.

Houston Hobby temperature and precipitation graphic for 2022. (National Weather Service)

Thursday

High pressure continues to dominate our weather, leading to continued high temperatures in the upper 90s for much of the region on Thursday. The difference today and Friday is that there will be more atmospheric moisture to work with, so it is possible the sea breeze will generate some pop-up showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon hours. Your chances today are about 20 percent, so I wish you luck. Winds will be light, out of the southeast, and you know the overnight is going to be sticky humid, don’t you?

Friday

As moisture levels peak, rain chances are probably best on Friday, reaching 25 or 30 percent. Otherwise expect more mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 90s.

Saturday and Sunday

The weekend will be downright hot, with 100-degree readings possible on Saturday and the Sunday Juneteenth holiday. Rain chances don’t entirely go away, but they’re probably hovering at around 10 percent with mostly sunny skies.

Welp. (Weather Bell)

Next week

I’m afraid that, for now, there’s no reason not to expect next week to be hot, mostly sunny, and mostly devoid of rainfall.

Houston nearing the longest day of the year, with the Sun reaching its highest point in the sky

Good morning. This is Eric, and I’m back from an extended weekend at a family reunion in southeastern Missouri. I must say that I enjoyed one day with a cool morning last Friday, with a daily high in the low 80s, before high pressure pushed temperatures there into the upper 90s. So my break from the heat was short-lived, but still better than nothing. As for Houston’s weather, well, not much has changed since I left town nearly a week ago. And not much is going to change in the next week. After that? Maybe. But just maybe.

Wednesday

High pressure anchored over the southeastern United States will still be the driving factor for our weather for awhile, but high temperatures today should “only” get into the mid-90s for much of the region. Skies will be mostly sunny, with light southerly winds at 5 to 10 mph. Overnight lows won’t fall much below 80 degrees, at all, for inland areas. The coast will remain above 80 degrees.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for now through Friday. (Weather Bell)

Thursday and Friday

Most of the Houston region has yet to record even a scintilla of rainfall during the month of June and that’s unlikely to change on Thursday and Friday. However, as atmospheric moisture levels jump a bit, there will have about a 20 percent chance of rain showers each day, primarily during the afternoon hours due to the sea breeze. I think there’s even a slight chance that a few of these showers will pulse up and, however briefly, drop some heavier rain for a very few lucky areas. Will you win the rainfall lottery? Otherwise, expect highs in the mid- to upper-90s on both days with mostly sunny skies.

Saturday and Sunday

Both weekend days will be sunny and hot, with temperatures in the upper 90s. If you are out and about celebrating Juneteenth on Sunday, please do take precautions both from the heat and sunshine. We are very nearly at the longest day of the year (June 21), which means the Sun is the highest in the sky. As a matter of fact, between 1 and 2 pm during the afternoon, the Sun reaches an altitude of 84 percent, meaning those solar rays are passing through almost no atmosphere before they reach your skin. (If you’re curious, the Sun’s peak altitude during the shortest winter day in Houston is just 37 percent).

Yeah, next week looks really hot as well. (Pivotal Weather)

Next week

The overall pattern does not change much during the first half of next week, I am afraid. But after that point there is the potential for an increase moisture to move in from the Gulf of Mexico, and possibly raise the chances of rain from 0 to something measurable. Temperatures still look very hot, with highs in the upper 90s most likely.