Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:29 AM
After a string of splendid weather, we’re heading back into the muggy warmth of mid-spring in Houston. We’ll cap it with some rain chances next week. Maybe we can finally wash away some of the pollen that has been driving some of us crazy. (raises hand) Let’s dive in.
Today through Sunday
The quick and dirty here is that if you have outdoor plans this weekend, you should be in good shape. There could be a few showers around, but for the most part, I feel fairly comfortable telling you that the weather will be quiet this weekend.
We have a few patchy low clouds around this morning that should dissipate. Expect new clouds to billow up at times today, but on the whole it looks fairly nice. Expect a little more humidity and high temperatures approaching 80 degrees.
I think Saturday and Sunday may play out similarly with nighttime through morning low clouds or a few sprinkles giving way to partial afternoon sunshine, fairly typical for Texas springtime. Again, there’s a very, very slight chance for a shower. But as Eric mentioned yesterday, a pretty firm capping inversion probably keeps us dry the vast majority of the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday should see highs in the low 80s and morning lows struggling to get below the upper 60s.
With stronger onshore winds early this weekend and next week, use caution if you’ll be at the beach, as rip current risk will be higher than usual. (NWS Houston).
Headed to the beach? Be aware that as onshore winds increase today and this weekend, so will the risk of rip currents. If you do decide to take a dip in the Gulf, please do so cautiously.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:35 AM
As we head into the weekend, rain chances will be with us most of the time. Truthfully, while we can’t tell you exactly when and where it’s going to rain, the weekend should be peppered with plenty of dry periods. More on that in a second.
But we actually could use a bit of rain. We finished about two to three inches above normal in February, but the combination of a small deficit in January and over an inch deficit so far in March means we’re close to average for this point in the year. When you consider the autumn rainfall deficit we had, we’re certainly not in bad shape but it could be better.
While Houston isn’t in drought, much of West Texas is, with the worst in the Panhandle. (Drought Monitor)
The Drought Monitor update from yesterday shows that about 54% of Texas is in drought now, with almost 15% (all in the Panhandle region) in extreme drought. In the Houston area, we’re technically drought-free, but you don’t have to go too far west to hit moderate drought. With rainfall over the next 10 days probably averaging at or below normal, we should see moderate drought slowly begin to creep back in on the outskirts of our area by the end of March. We’ll see how it goes, but a little rain would not be a bad thing right now.
On to the forecast.
Cloud cover is in firm control this morning, and it will stay mainly cloudy through the day today. Rain chances will be with us basically all day, but there’s a big caveat here: It’s probably not going to be too bad in Houston. We’ll have some light rain showers or drizzle around this morning. We’ll have a few more showers or a rogue thunderstorm nearby this afternoon. But the best odds for some steadier rainfall will be east of Houston. So the way I’m characterizing today is a few showers or some pockets of light rain, but no need to cancel plans or anything. Temperatures will ramp up to around or above 80 degrees this afternoon.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:36 AM
After a string of three cool but beautiful days to start this week, we’re going to turn the corner today, back to slightly less nice weather, leading to some rain chances for Friday and the weekend.
Look for a mostly nice start to Thursday. Just a few high clouds passing through this morning, though some newly developed low clouds are showing up near and east of US-59. But satellite imagery shows that the mainly clear weather elsewhere is running out of time.
The nighttime view on satellite shows much more cloud cover working closer to Houston. (College of DuPage)
Expect temperatures this afternoon to reach for the mid-70s in Houston, with gradually increasing clouds. I can’t rule out a little light rain or drizzle well southwest of Houston by mid to late afternoon. This would be most likely near Bay City, El Campo, Matagorda, or Wharton.
Tonight and Friday
Expect clouds to thicken up tonight across the entire region. We’ll see at least a few showers, sprinkles, or drizzle try and move into the area. Temperatures will be nowhere near as cool as in recent nights. We’ll struggle to get below 65 degrees or so in the city, milder southeast and cooler northwest.
On Friday, look for clouds and pockets of drizzle or showers in the morning. We’ll shift to a mostly cloudy afternoon. Scattered showers and thunderstorms should begin to pop up however. That said, the best chance for those will be east of I-45, mostly between Houston and Lake Charles. West of Houston, expect a few isolated showers or downpours Friday afternoon. High temperatures should sneak into the upper 70s and low 80s, even with a good deal of cloud cover.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:31 AM
We’ve had quite a week. I guess if you want to grumble about the weather you’d be in Galveston wishing it were a few degrees warmer. But no one can deny it’s been flat out pretty this week. We’ve got one more winner of a day before some changes begin.
Today & Thursday
Today should be close to a repeat of the last couple. Another cool start in the 40s for many today will lead to a mild finish. We should sneak above 70 degrees this afternoon. We’ll see sunshine and a few high clouds around. Those clouds will increase on Thursday. I think it’ll be a mainly dry, quiet day, but it won’t be nearly as pretty as the current stretch of weather.
That said, we could see a few sprinkles or a shower, primarily southwest of Houston near Wharton or Jackson Counties down toward Matagorda. Look for morning lows Thursday to be in the lower or middle 50s, warming into the lower or middle 70s Thursday afternoon.
Things get a little trickier Friday. We should see clouds and a chance of sprinkles or a shower Friday morning. Temperatures will start much warmer than in prior days, with AM lows in the middle 60s. As a disturbance approaches Friday afternoon, that should help set off a slightly more robust area of showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms as well.
The best chance for some steadier showers will be just east of Houston on Friday. Rain amounts should be 0.1 to 0.3″ for most, with a few higher amounts in that bullseye. (NWS/Weather Bell)
Weather models are still not fully in agreement on details here, but Friday afternoon will be our best chance of showers this week. One similarity I can find among the models is that they seem to favor areas east of I-45 for the most persistent showers. So the east side of Houston may be more likely see some pollen-cleansing showers than the west side. We will update this tomorrow as hopefully there’s slightly better agreement on details.