Category: Houston weather

We have reached the real dog days of summer. The middle of August almost always feels like this, with low temperatures hovering around 80 degrees for most of Houston, and highs in the upper 90s. Afternoon temperatures have reached 96 or 97 degrees the last five days in Houston, and unfortunately that pattern seems unlikely to change significantly for most of the rest of the month.

On Monday a reader wrote in and asked, I know you don’t have a crystal ball and are not clairvoyant, but I’m sooooooo over this summer I need a little encouragement. What does our Fall/ Winter have in store for us? I don’t have much confidence in seasonal forecasts, but I do know this. August is already half over. Already, days are an hour shorter than they were in June. Fall is not here yet, but it also isn’t that far around the corner. We can reasonably begin to expect some relief in about four weeks, or so. Until then—heat.

Length of the day in Houston. White line shows where we are today. (Time and Date)

Tuesday and Wednesday

While pressures are high across the region, they’re not entirely stifling. Some parts of Houston, especially east of Interstate 45, have an outside shot at some showers later this afternoon. Most of Houston will not see rain, but at least there’s a chance. Otherwise, highs will remain in the mid- to upper-90s.

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Locally, the weather this week will be pretty standard for mid-August. It’s going to be hot. There will be a few opportunities for storms, but the majority of the week will see the majority of Southeast Texas dry. More on this in a second. First, let’s talk solar eclipse.

Eclipse outlook

We’re one week from one of the most talked about astronomical events in the U.S. in a long time. It’s certainly exciting, and understandably, there’s demand for eclipse weather forecasts. So, we’ll be happy to offer up our opinions here. First, locally, I think we look pretty standard in terms of thunderstorm chances. Odds are it will be partly to mostly sunny with just a few developing showers, mainly south and east of downtown Houston.

The initial outlook for eclipse viewing in Houston looks pretty typical for mid to late August: Sun, some passing clouds, and developing showers southeast of town.


The good news is that, assuming standard summer weather here in Houston, you probably won’t have to drive very far to get out of a downpour and into sunshine. All in all, I’m optimistic on our weather for the eclipse right now. We’ll keep you posted.

Some of you may be considering traveling into the path of totality of the eclipse, which stretches from Oregon into Wyoming across Missouri and offshore from South Carolina. We take a crack at things here, using some major cities along the path (Hopkinsville and Carbondale are the approximate locations of the greatest eclipse and longest duration of the eclipse respectively).

It’s a bit early to pin down exactly how things will look, but initially, the greatest chance of disappointment may be on the eastern edge of the eclipse path over the U.S., in South Carolina. This can certainly change, however.


Based on a brief look at the weather models for next Monday around the time of the eclipse, the best chance of rain may be in the Carolinas. Models disagree further west (including Nashville, Hopkinsville, Carbondale, and St. Louis), with a chance of rain showers potentially. For now, I’d spin it optimistically. I don’t see any reason to be overly nervous in any given place. I am watching a band of cloud cover showing up on some models from northern Colorado into Wyoming and perhaps the Plains (think Lincoln, NE & Kansas City). Again, it’s quite early for a precise cloud cover forecast, but we wanted to offer up an early opinion for you. Look for further updates this week.

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Houston officially clocked in at 97° on Thursday, registering our hottest day since way back on July 29th, when we hit the century mark. So, yeah, summer is back in style. And it’s not going to be in any hurry to let go.

Today & Weekend

We’re gradually settled back in to a typical late summer pattern of high heat, high humidity, and at least a handful of showers and storms each afternoon. For today, a Heat Advisory has been issued for the Houston metro area, Galveston, and College Station. Heat index values near 110° at times will be possible this afternoon. Actual temperatures today will top off in the mid or upper-90s.

It never hurts to reacquaint yourself with the symptoms of heat stress. (NWS)


Meanwhile, as showers and storms go, it appears today will see the highest coverage this weekend, which is to say it will be fairly similar to how Thursday ended up. Expect scattered noisy storms by mid-afternoon spreading inland from the south and east. Some folks see nothing, others may see an inch or two in some downpours. No serious trouble is expected. On the whole, we’ll call it about a 30 percent chance of storms today.

The going forecast for Saturday and Sunday is mainly sunny and dry. That said, in my experience, I wouldn’t be entirely floored if storm coverage is a bit higher than expected. I’m not talking a washout or anything, but I am talking about keeping an umbrella handy, just in case. We’re not in a strong, stable dry and hot pattern just yet. So there’s still enough opportunities for some storms to pop up. And I think it’s at least worth a mention.

Temperatures will top off in the mid-90s this weekend as well. While heat indices may be a bit lower Saturday and Sunday than we’ll see today, it will still get uncomfortable at times. Be sure to drink plenty of water and take it slow outdoors.

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Several posts in our Weather Why series deal with hurricanes. In the past, we have discussed what affects a hurricane’s path, as well as why winds are strongest on the right side of a hurricane. As the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season draws near, we wanted to focus on the part of a hurricane that impacts people along the cost the most—storm surge.

While many people are concerned with rain, wind, and tornado risks when discussing the impact of hurricanes, the storm surge is by far the most dangerous factor. A 2014 study by the National Hurricane Center showed that 49 percent of all deaths attributable to a hurricane or tropical storm come from storm surges (by comparison, hurricane-spawned tornadoes only account for 3 percent of tropical storm and hurricane deaths). So what causes the storm surge? And when a tropical system makes landfall, what can you do to avoid it?

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