Category: Announcements

Today we have an exciting announcement about the partnership between Space City Weather and Reliant. In the video below, Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant, and I discuss the origin of Space City Weather, talk about the importance of sponsorship, and what our new long-term agreement means for our readers and the future of the site.

The bottom line is this: Matt and I are committed to providing the best weather information we can, the way you want it—whether that’s a website, a redesigned e-newsletter or a smartphone app. This continued support from Reliant allows us to think about other ways we can serve Houston, and ensure that our forecasts will always be free, fast, and without hype.

Before jumping into the forecast this morning I want to announce the beginning of our 2020 fundraiser, which will last for the next three weeks. We only do this once a year, and never during inclement weather, because Matt and I do not want to seem opportunistic. But if you would like to help support the site—which is a considerable undertaking—this is your chance. All items should arrive a week before Christmas.

At our fundraising link you can purchase:

With this design Matt and I hope to earn your vote in 2021. Our campaign promise to you: Low humidity!

Given the horrendous hurricane season endured by our neighbors to the east this year, we are donating 25 percent of proceeds from the “Texas stands with Louisiana” shirt to the Louisiana-based charity SBP, which helps homeowners and businesses rebuild after tropical disasters. The design of this t-shirt and sweatshirt showcases Texas’ solidarity with our neighboring state after it endured five hurricane landfalls this year.

Louisiana-Texas t-shirt design. 25 percent of funds raised with this design will be donated to SBP.

Thank you for your support—Matt and I are always truly humbled by the response to this fundraiser.

Monday

Today’s weather will more or less be a continuation of Sunday, with some patchy fog in the morning giving way to partly sunny skies later in the day. Expect light southeasterly winds, and highs to reach into the low 80s for most areas. Temperatures Monday night are unlikely to drop much below 70 for most areas, with plenty of humidity. This should be the warmest night of the week.

Tuesday

This is the day a cold front approaches the region, but it probably will not push into the metro area until the overnight hours. Also, it’s almost certainly going to stall near the Interstate 69 corridor—so if you live south or east of Houston you’re unlikely to see much of a sensible change in your weather. This front may generate some scattered, light showers, but overall rain chances are probably less than 30 percent on Tuesday and Tuesday night. Expect highs to reach around 80 degrees.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

The effects of the front will wash out pretty quickly on Wednesday as the it waffles around and retreats, but our overall flow should turn more easterly to end the week. The net effect of this will be to bring slightly drier and cooler air into the region. Expect sunny days, highs of around 80 or in the low 80s, and overnight lows dropping into the low- to mid-60s except right along the coast.

Saturday, Sunday, and beyond

This weekend should see a continuation of our sunny weather and warm days, with highs of around 80 degrees, or a bit warmer. The pattern finally changes—timing to be nailed down later—with a front later on Sunday, or Sunday night to bring much drier air into the region and cool us down. At this point, the front does not look much like a rainmaker however.

Tropical Storm Eta

This system continues to confound forecasters. The storm’s official track forecast is shown below, but the European and GFS models diverge broadly in their forecasts. The official track more or less follows the European model forecast.

Official Eta track forecast. (National Hurricane Center)

But there is another reasonably likely possibility in which Eta continues to drift west in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday and then … succumbs to wind shear and dies, or bends back north toward the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, or keeps drifting southwest into Mexico.

GFS model ensemble forecast for Tropical Storm Eta. (Weather Bell)

If you’re looking at this and you’re worried about Texas, don’t be. There are no real plausible scenarios in which Eta drifts westward far enough, and holds a circulation together long enough, to have a meaningful impact on the state.

It is difficult for me to believe, but Space City Weather turns five years old tomorrow. (Here’s our first post). I remember it well. I left the Houston Chronicle’s downtown office that afternoon, a Friday, after a nice send-off from my colleagues following 17 wonderful years at the newspaper. I had intended to at least take the weekend off before starting a weather website, as a hobby. But with impending storms and heavy rain that weekend, my wife and I put off a celebratory dinner on Friday night while I created Space City Weather and dove headlong into the effort. Matt joined from the outset and Reliant soon came on as a sponsor. Then, Hurricane Harvey hit two years later, and the rest is history.

Looking ahead, we’re going to continue to make site improvements. Most notably, many readers have asked for an app. Frankly, making a free, quality app is a really big ask for such a small site like ours, but we are planning to make this happen in the coming months, and will have more to say soon. We also are planning other small improvements, but the site is going to remain true to the core mission that I outlined in that first post five years ago—”informative, hype-free forecasting.” Thank you to everyone who was there at the beginning, or found us along the way.

Thursday

Temperatures are generally in the low 70s across the Houston area this morning, with dewpoints to match, making for fairly humid conditions. This has also led to some fog in the area that has reduced visibility. After the fog dissipates we can expect a partly sunny day, with highs in the mid 80s, along with light southeast winds. We can’t rule out a few isolated showers, but they should be fleeting. Lows tonight will be similarly warm.

Friday

This day will start out a lot like Thursday, but will change as a front pushes into the area. The front should arrive in northwest areas, such as Brenham, around sunset, push through the city during the evening or overnight hours, and reach the coast around midnight or a few hours later. Some models are now suggesting the front may have a little more oomph than we first anticipated, allowing for low temperatures to possibly drop into the 50s on Saturday morning. Emphasis on possibly.

Saturday

In the wake of this front, conditions will be pretty nice on Saturday, with partly to mostly sunny skies and highs likely only reaching the upper 70s. However, the front is going to wash out pretty quickly, so with onshore winds returning we can expect a warmer night, likely in the upper 60s for most.

Temperatures in Houston should be 10 to 15 degrees cooler on Saturday morning than Friday morning. (Weather Bell)

Sunday and Monday

We should be back to fairly humid, warm weather on Sunday and Monday, with highs somewhere in the 80s and plenty of sunshine.

Next week

When it comes to next week’s forecast we’re still in something a of a throwing darts at a dart board mode. Some models want to bring a strong front into Houston late on Monday or Tuesday, with a reinforcing front later in the week, making for much cooler fall weather all week. Others bring a front close to Houston on Tuesday, before it stalls, and awaiting a reinforcing front later in the week to push all the way off the coast. So while we’re pretty confident significantly cooler weather is on the way, I’m not sure whether that happens on Tuesday or Thursday. The good news is that whenever a front does push all the way through, it should also bring some rain with it. Again, details on how much, etc., remain very much up in the air. Literally!

Howdy, folks—my name is Lee, and I’m the SCW server admin. I don’t post often (or really ever!), but with Eric and Matt off for the day to recover from their marathon forecasting job, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to y’all a bit about how Space City Weather works, and how the site deals with the deluge of traffic that we get during significant weather events. This isn’t a forecasting type of post—I’m just an old angry IT guy, and I leave weather to the experts!—but a ton of folks have asked about the topic in feedback and in comments, so if you’re curious about what makes SCW tick, this post is for you.

On the other hand, if the idea of reading a post on servers sounds boring, then fear not—SCW will be back to regular forecasts on Monday!

(I’m going to keep this high-level and accessible, so if there are any hard-core geeks reading here who are jonesing for a deep-dive on how SCW is hosted, please see my Ars Technica article on the subject from a couple of years ago. The SCW hosting setup is still more or less identical to what it was when I wrote that piece just after Hurricane Harvey.)

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