Houston’s May blowtorch should begin to extinguish some this weekend

Averaging the temperature recorded in Houston (at Bush Airport) from May 1 through yesterday would give us the hottest front 19 days of May on record back to the 1890s. It’s probably not terribly surprising. We will begin to see things change this weekend, however, and it can’t come soon enough.

While the drought situation has held stable in the Houston area, across Texas, it continues to worsen. Almost 30 percent of the state is classified as being in “exceptional” drought, level 4 of 4. (NOAA)

The drought situation has not changed much in the Houston area since last week. We still see extreme drought creeping in across Wharton, Matagorda, and Brazoria Counties. It’s really the entire state of Texas that needs some help right now. Almost 30 percent of the state is classified as being in “exceptional” drought, the most coverage of that classification since early 2012, as we were coming out of the 2011 drought.

Our chance for help both locally and statewide is about to kick into gear. But it’s a bit of a tenuous story. I’ve been watching this wet pattern closely, and we started to see the European ensemble model backpedal a bit yesterday, taking us from about 2″ above normal the next 10 days or so down to 1″ above normal. While that may not sound like a huge change, this will go a long way toward relaxing drought, and any cutting back on that would not be great news. So, fingers crossed that the next week or so performs.


The weather remains on autopilot for one more day: Sun, clouds, high humidity, and temperatures in the 90s. Winds will be up a bit today compared to recent days, with some 15 to 25 mph gusts possible. Perhaps that will help make it a bit less painful.

The wind will be a little gustier today than it has been this week, as slightly stronger onshore flow kicks into gear. (Pivotal Weather)

Most of us should stay dry, but perhaps a stray shower or storm could impact areas west of Houston later this afternoon.


We should not see any significant weather changes tomorrow, but we may notice a few additional clouds. It should not be much cooler. In fact, with a cold front moving into Texas on Saturday but coming up short of Houston, that may actually allow for a little additional onshore flow or “compressional heating” ahead of the front, which could allow us to squeeze an extra degree or two out of the air tomorrow. Shower chances look minimal during the daylight hours right now. There may be a slightly better chance at storms tomorrow night, especially north of I-10.


The big changes should really kick in on Sunday. The front will likely come up just short of Houston, but it will be close enough to the area to allow for numerous showers and storms to develop through the day on Sunday. Timing exactly where and when these will hit your backyard is impossible to do right now, but we believe most areas will see at least some rain at least once or twice on Sunday. And with a very, very humid air mass in place, any rain that does fall could be heavy, so keep alert for some localized street flooding if you’ll be out and about.

With rain and clouds, look for upper-80s or low-90s Sunday at best.

Monday & Tuesday

Weather modeling seems to agree that Monday may be a bit of a “down” day in terms of rain chances. So we may just see a few showers around with a mix of clouds and some sun. Look for highs in the upper-80s.

Tuesday should see another disturbance or two swing into the area, and that means that rain chances will probably trend up for that day. Look for scattered to numerous showers and storms with highs in the mid-80s. Again, any rain could be heavy.

The current forecast calls for a general 1 to 3 inches of rain through Wednesday. Some areas will likely see more than that, while a few others may see under an inch. (Pivotal Weather)

How much rain through Wednesday morning? There will be a very wide variability with some places seeing an inch or less and others likely seeing 2 or 3 inches or even more. Consider this map an average, but you can clearly see we’re expecting a good bit of beneficial rain through Tuesday.

One other quick note: An early season Saharan dust cloud will work into our area on Tuesday into Wednesday, so you may see a hazier, dirtier looking sky in between storms. This isn’t uncommon in early summer, but it is a bit early for a dust event of this magnitude based on my experience. I would not read into it meaning anything in particular, however, as I don’t believe there’s any established correlation between early season dust and the upcoming hurricane season.

Later next week

Questions begin to arise later next week as to whether we can keep this wetter pattern going with daily shower and storm chances, or if things dial back a bit. Based on the latest data, I would expect a healthy chance of rain again on Wednesday before storm chances diminish a good bit on Thursday and Friday.

Memorial Weekend looks pretty good right now. Lower-end rain chances may build back in on Sunday or Monday, but as of now, it’s nothing too serious. We’ll keep tabs on it, but at this point, I would say at least 60 percent of the weekend looks great. It will be hot and humid, of course, with highs likely around 90 or a bit hotter. More next week!

Drought expands near Matagorda Bay, as heat persists for Houston

Another day of upper-80s and low-90s across the area on Thursday. And much more to come. The U.S. Drought Monitor update was released yesterday. It did show slight improvement in and north of Houston, mostly in the Brazos Valley. However, drought classified as “extreme” (level 3 of 4) continues to expand now across Matagorda County and portions of Brazoria and Wharton Counties.

Drought is creeping in from the south, as all of Matagorda and portions of Brazoria & Wharton Counties are considered to be in “extreme” drought. (NOAA)

I expect this will expand a little bit next week and then, depending on how next weekend goes, possibly even more the week after. The weather pattern across Texas continues to look abnormally hot for mid-May and also quite dry. Soil moisture continues to dry out, especially in coastal and south Texas this month. We still have time to stave off a potentially bad drought situation in Texas for the summer, but we really need a system or two to come through and give us a widespread rain. Perhaps there is some hope next weekend or beyond, but as Eric noted yesterday, our confidence in that occurring is not particularly high. So it goes.

Today through Sunday

Some slightly drier air has allowed us to turn a good bit cooler this morning, with lows in the 60s. It actually feels…nice? Whatever the case, it likely won’t last more than a few hours. The Friday through Sunday period will just be sun, sun, sun. Lather up with the SPF-a-lot and try to keep cool this weekend. Look for highs in the low to mid-90s and lows in the 70s. Each subsequent morning heading into next week looks just a little warmer and a little more humid. Certainly not as pleasant as this morning. We’re firmly into June/July-type weather.

Could it rain this weekend? Yes, if you’re lucky, you may see a shower or downpour, particularly on Saturday. I’m not expecting miracles, but don’t be too shocked if you see a passing shower or two.

Monday through Thursday

Each subsequent day looks to get just a little hotter. We’ll be firmly into July/August-type temperatures by midweek with highs likely in the mid-90s, if not hotter in some spots. Lows will be in the 70s, if not the upper-70s. And we continue to look sunny.

Forecast high temperatures for next Thursday remain very, very hot for May. (Pivotal Weather)

There’s just no meaningful relief in sight. A shower or two is possible on a day or two here or there, but again, you would be fortunate to see that.

Next weekend & tropics?

We continue to at least see hints of change coming next weekend. That could be via a cold front or passing disturbance that brings a day or two of higher rain chances. We’re not confident in exactly what it is we see just yet, but most models show at least some kind of change in things for a couple days. I’m not sure it will be quite enough to tilt the scales toward meaningful, lasting change though, as most models bring heat right back after that system exits.

I’ll close by saying that there have been a few social media accounts pushing out model data that shows a rogue tropical storm or hurricane in the Gulf on like forecast day 15 or so. Models (this one in particular, the GFS) generally do show these early season “scareicanes,” but they essentially never come to fruition, at least as shown. While, yes, we could always get tropical activity in the Gulf in late May, it would be highly unlikely to see a significant storm this early. Your best bet is tune that nonsense out. We’ll let you know if anything looks like it could realistically impact our area. It does not at this time.

Summer in Houston is unofficially underway

Well, here we are. It would appear that the summer of 2022 is going to begin quite early, as we are going to have multiple opportunities to approach or break record high temperatures over the next several days, with honestly no real confident end in sight.

Last night’s storms packed a punch in parts of the area, mainly up toward Huntsville. For the rest of us, just some rain.

Rain totals saw a wide disparity between over a half-inch north and mostly less than that south of Houston. (NOAA)

You can see rain totals on the map above, as estimated by radar. Mostly a half-inch to an inch north (more north of Conroe) and a quarter-inch to three-quarters of an inch south (highest in Chambers County). The only real “losers” with yesterday’s storms were south of Sugar Land, across southeast Fort Bend and much of Brazoria, Wharton, and Matagorda Counties, which saw less than a quarter-inch of rain.

Any rain is good rain at this point, so we’ll take it, as the drought monitor update released yesterday continues to show drought holding over most of Texas. Locally, the drought situation got a touch worse through Tuesday, with some expansion of drought south of Houston. Given the lack of rain there yesterday, this will almost certainly expand further next week.

Suffice to say, last night’s rain was appreciated, but some areas south of Houston saw very little of it, and those areas need it most. (US Drought Monitor)

We are now seeing levels of “extreme” drought show up in Matagorda County. With very little rain expected over the next 7 to 10 days, along with extremely hot weather for May, it is possible we see drought expand rapidly through the month. We will be watching this closely.


So with the rain behind us, we now step into summer-like weather. We should see sunshine today after perhaps a little morning fog burns off in spots. Highs will bump up into the low-90s.


We expect a sun-filled weekend, along with near-record heat for May. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper-90s both days with morning lows in the 70s. Combined with the humidity, it will feel like it’s over 100 degrees at times this weekend. Stay hydrated. Stay in shade. Our bodies need time to adjust to these levels of heat.

Next week

At this time, there is no reason to forecast any real rain through Friday. This means it will be sunny and hot with no relent. Expect highs well into the 90s and lows in the 70s each day. We’re not talking cheap 90s either; these will probably be 93-96 degree type days each day. In fact, if we look at the NWS forecast into next week and compare it to the record highs for those dates, you’ll see we’re currently forecast to tie or break records from Saturday through Thursday.

DayIAH Forecast HighRecord High (Year)
Friday92°94° (1906)
Saturday97°94° (1998)
Sunday96°96° (1967)
Monday96°94° (2011)
Tuesday94°94° (1927)
Wednesday94°94° (1890)
Thursday96°92° (1967)
Numerous record highs may be approached or exceeded over the next week.

We have not had an early to mid-May heat wave of this intensity in quite a few years, with only one record high set in the 2000s, one of the lengthier stretches that has not seen records broken much in recent years. So again, please stay cool this weekend and be extra cognizant of your exposure to the heat this early in the season. With that, some tips!

A Message From Our Sponsor, Reliant

As Houstonians get ready for our first taste of summer with temps in the high 90s starting this weekend, now is the perfect time to talk about how to prepare for the heat. Our sponsor Reliant shared the below helpful tips for staying cool while managing your energy usage.

  • Follow the 4×4 principle. Set your thermostat four degrees higher when you’re away from home for more than four hours to save on energy usage and costs.
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  • Use blinds or curtains to reduce solar heat gain by up to 50 percent. Direct sunlight can increase the demand on your AC by as much as 30 percent.
  • Switch out your old light bulbs for new LEDs to light your home efficiently. Unlike incandescent bulbs that generate heat, LED bulbs are cool to the touch, last longer and use 70-90 percent less electricity.
  • Schedule an HVAC checkup. Now is a good time to arrange a tune-up with an HVAC service professional to ensure your system is running at its best. Just as you wouldn’t take your car out for a long road trip without getting serviced, you don’t want to enter summer without your AC system being properly maintained.

Find additional energy efficiency tips by clicking here.

Summer lite settles in over Houston this weekend

As we prepare to flip the calendar to May, the weather will fast forward a few weeks, as forecast highs near 90 degrees, more commonplace for late May, become a feature in the days ahead.

We’ll start today with a drought update. You probably assumed that this week’s impressive rains acted to relieve the drought some in our area, and you would be correct. Coverage of drought in the Houston area dropped about 15 percent versus a week ago. We’ll need another couple rounds of storms in the next couple weeks to keep that improvement going.

Drought coverage remains widespread south of I-10, but it has mostly disappeared for now north of I-10. (US Drought Monitor)

Will we get that? I’m not sure, truthfully. The pattern will support active weather near our region, but it may miss us to the north and east more often than not, so we’ll have to see. This could be a situation where things don’t change much north of Houston but perhaps they get worse south of Houston. That brings us to the forecast.


Sun and clouds will mix for us today, and we’ll see temperatures and humidity both nudge higher versus yesterday. We should do mid to upper-80s for highs this afternoon.


This weekend will see a cold front drop south into the extreme northern fringe of our region tomorrow. We expect it will stall out north of Huntsville, but it may come close enough to deliver at least a few showers into the northern third of the Houston area tomorrow afternoon. The best chance would be outside the Beltway to the north; think Conroe, Cleveland, Magnolia.

An additional slight chance of showers would be in play on Sunday as well, again mostly north or perhaps east of the area. We don’t believe you’ll need to alter any weekend plans, but just be prepared in case a stray shower or downpour passes by.

It will be firmly like mid-May this weekend with lows in the 70s and highs in the mid to upper-80s.

For those of you riding in the MS 150 this weekend, day 1 will feature those hot temperatures but also a south wind. It will be consistent along the length of the ride from Houston through La Grange, sustained around 5 to 10 mph, with periodic gusts closer to 20 mph.

Saturday’s leg of the MS 150 will feature south or south-southeasterly winds at 5 to 10 mph with higher gusts at times. (Pivotal Weather)

Day 2 will be a little breezier. While temperatures and humidity should be about on par with Saturday, the wind will shift to more of a southeasterly breeze. It will be more like 10 to 15 mph, with more frequent 20 mph gusts.

The second leg of the MS 150 will be breezier with southeast winds of 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 20 mph or a bit stronger at times.

It should never be a headwind, but it may be a bit annoying at times. Keep an eye out for a few showers, especially on day 2, but it should hopefully be nothing that causes any problems. Whatever the case, good luck to all those participating!

Early next week

The first part of next week should be fairly similar to the weekend: Clouds, sun, hot temperatures, high humidity, and a very slight chance of a few showers. Expect lows in the 70s and highs well into the 80s, with an outside shot at 90 degrees in spots, along with a noticeable south or southeast wind, gusting to 20 mph or so.

Later next week

The late week question revolves around whether or not we get a cold front into our area. Right now, that seems to be a low probability thought. The front should probably hold out until the weekend, and even if it gets here, any relief would be brief. Outside of that, we will keep hot temperatures, high humidity, and a low-end rain chance each day heading toward next weekend. We’ll refine this more on Monday.