Posted by Eric Berger at 6:55 AM
Good morning. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Matt for covering the site last week while I was on vacation—it felt good to fully unplug for awhile. I am sorry to have missed some great weather last week, however. Now I’m back, and ready for the spring storm season (some northern areas, such as Montgomery County, got a taste of severe thunderstorms on Sunday evening), and summer is lurking around the corner as well.
The radar is clear this morning across the Houston area, but that should change shortly after sunrise as a cool front approaches the area. I expect a broken line of showers, and possibly a thunderstorm or two, to develop along the front as it reaches Houston during the morning hours, and moves well off the coast by noon. Over the areas they develop, these storms should not produce significant accumulations as they will be fast moving. I was actually hoping for a bit more widespread showers today, because that might help shake some of the extremely heavy tree pollen levels out of the air.
It will be a warm day Monday, but humidity levels will be extremely low. (Pivotal Weather)
With sunny skies today, and very dry air moving in behind the cool front, we should see highs climbing into the low to mid-80s across the area. Given the very dry air mass—humidities could be in the teens across the area—please take care if handling fire as it won’t take much to start a wildfire, and for it to spread. With the drier air, temperatures will drop off pretty quickly tonight as the sun sets.
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.