Category: Hurricane Harvey

Houston has had a moderate first half of July, with an average high temperature below 93 degrees, and overall temperatures slightly below normal for this time of year. That is now about to change, as we shift into the mid- and upper-90s, virtually no chance of rain, and full-on summer. We hope you like it hot, because hot is what you’re going to get.

Monday

Remember all those clouds and healthy rain chances last week? Yeah, they’re pretty much gone. During most of last week the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, typically measured as precipitable water, was quite high as we saw values 50 to 100 percent above normal for this time of year. But this morning the tables have turned, with precipitable water values only about 50 to 70 percent of normal levels.

Precipitable water forecast for 7am CT on Monday morning. (Weather Bell)

So rain chances are going to go way down today, and go pretty much away for quite a while. Skies today should be partly sunny with highs in the mid-90s. What you probably will notice is a fine, yellow haze. That’s the Saharan dust that will be with us for the next few days. It will at least make for some pretty sunsets.

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Heat and minimal rain chances through the weekend

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:37 AM

Good morning. Yesterday was the 16th day this month that we officially hit 95° or hotter in Houston. The last time we did that was 2013. At least this isn’t a repeat of 2011, when we did 95+ on 26 occasions. We will continue to flirt with 95 degrees for the final three days of June. More on that in a second. Below today’s forecast, we’ve got some analysis on the National Weather Service post-Harvey service assessment that was released last week. I farmed out some interesting tidbits for you that may be of interest. First, the forecast.

Today & Friday

More hot weather is in store for us over the next couple days. We had a handful of showers in the region yesterday, and we’ll probably have a handful more today. However, atmospheric moisture looks a bit more robust today than it did yesterday, so that should yield a slightly larger handful of showers than Wednesday. That said, we’re talking like 20 percent chances at best here. Basically, if you see a cooling shower today or tomorrow, consider yourself fortunate.

Temperatures will peak around the middle 90s once again both Thursday and Friday.

Weekend

Shower chances continue to look like they’ll dwindle to near zero this weekend. With that, expect more hot weather. Officially, high temperatures should reach the mid-90s both Saturday and Sunday. Take it easy outdoors, as it will continue to be quite humid and uncomfortable.

As noted yesterday, we will also be dealing with Saharan dust. Skies will be hazy or gray looking at times, despite sunshine. And again, if you have any respiratory ailments or bad allergies, you may want to take it a little extra easy this weekend, as air quality could be a little worse than usual.

Just to clarify, as we’ve gotten a handful of interesting questions, this isn’t a dust storm or big, unique event for us. This happens at least a few times a summer usually. The vast majority of us will notice more haze than usual and the color difference to the sky. Maybe, if we’re lucky, the sunsets and sunrises will be more vibrant, though I’m happy to put a Texas sunrise or sunset up against anyone’s on a normal day. Sometimes, too much dust can have the opposite effect and dull the sunsets or sunrises a bit.

The only real “impact,” per se, is the slight increase in particulate matter, which is why if you have bad allergies or other respiratory ailments, we encourage you to take it easy. It’s certainly meteorologically interesting and a nice reminder of how fascinating this marble is that we inhabit to realize that you’re seeing dust in the sky in Texas that’s come all the way from Africa.

Next week

We do still look to be on track for a change next week, though the details are very uncertain. We’ve got high confidence in Monday still looking a lot like the weekend, with some haze and plenty of heat and humidity. By Tuesday, a disturbance aloft will be approaching western Louisiana, perhaps generating slightly better storm chances east of Houston toward Beaumont or Lake Charles. After about Tuesday afternoon, forecast confidence trends downward. Wednesday will probably see our storm chances peak in the Houston area and just east, but depending on the speed and trajectory of next week’s disturbance, that could easily get pushed back to Thursday.

A disturbance in the upper atmosphere will help boost rain chances at some point next week, most likely between Wednesday and Thursday. (Tropical Tidbits)

So before you go cancelling any plans, just know that as of right now we don’t expect a washout on the Fourth of July yet, just a better than average chance of storms. That said, yes, if you have outdoor plans you want to stay tuned to the forecast, as this could shift one way or another pretty easily. More on this tomorrow.

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A lot of stuff to get to today. We’ll go through the forecast first, and then jump into the National Hurricane Center’s final report on Hurricane Harvey, released yesterday.

Today & Saturday

We’re thinking today will be a rather uneventful weather day. We should see a good deal of cloud cover around, with limited (if any) sunshine. Temperatures are starting the day much warmer (around 50° in most spots, roughly 15° milder than yesterday at this time), and they’ll likely finish warmer than yesterday too. We should manage about mid-60s this afternoon.

In terms of rain, the bulk of today should be dry, but there could be some sprinkles or showers.

Things do change tonight as onshore flow continues, driving in ample moisture. A weak disturbance passes offshore, and this combination will lead to increasing rain chances as the night goes on. The best chance for the most shower activity will be south and east of US-59. The general rule of thumb will be that the closer to the coast you get, the better rain chances will be. Saturday will see shower chances continue in the region, but I think they’ll be highest both in the early morning and later afternoon. And once again, they’ll be highest south and east of Houston. Still, have an umbrella handy Saturday. It will be warm again, with highs near 70 degrees.

Total rainfall tonight and tomorrow will be highest well south and east of Houston. (Weather Bell/WPC)

Generally, we’re only expecting about a half inch or less in and around Houston. Some coastal locations could see upwards of three-quarters of an inch or so of rain. Higher amounts will be possible as you move toward Beaumont-Port Arthur and Lake Charles. Also, watch for some patchy dense fog along the coast (or even in some inland spots) later today through Saturday night.

Sunday into next week

A cold front will pass through the area Saturday night without much punch. You’ll notice it more Sunday with lowering humidity and gradually decreasing clouds. Expect temperatures to top off near 65° or so on Sunday. Sunday night will be chilly, with lows back into the 40s in the area. Monday and Tuesday continue to look splendid, with highs in the low-60s and lows in the 40s. We’ll see a warm up with increasing clouds and minor rain chances after Wednesday.

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Houston may face yet another winter storm this week

Posted by Eric Berger at 7:40 AM

After a clear and cold weekend, our concerns once again turn to the possibility of a winter storm in Houston—the third time we’ve worried about this kind of thing during the winter of 2017-2018. Fortunately, I’m also pretty confident this is the last time we’ll have to worry about this for this winter.

MLK Day

Fortunately, the inclement weather will hold off for today, allowing for pretty nice conditions across the region for the celebration of MLK Day. We can expect to see high temperatures in the low 60s, with partly sunny skies. Some scattered showers are possible later this afternoon and evening, as temperatures fall to around 50 degrees.

Tuesday

Everything changes on Tuesday as a strong cold front blows into Houston between midnight Monday, and sunrise on Tuesday. Light rain should follow behind this front. We’re not concerned about accumulations, with only a tenth or two of an inch of precipitation for most areas. But we are definitely concerned about the potential for rain turning into a wintry mix north and west of Houston on Tuesday morning (i.e. in the Brazos Valley and the Piney Woods regions), and moving southward into the Houston area later on Tuesday.

GFS model for precipitation from 6am to noon Tuesday. Rain for southern half of Houston, with mostly sleet (ice pellets) to the north. (Weather Bell)

Expect temperatures to fall throughout the day on Tuesday as very cold air advects into the region behind the front. For Houston, we’re primarily concerned about precipitation that lingers into the afternoon and evening on Tuesday, when temperatures fall below freezing. Although the precipitation (rain, sleet, snow?) will be light, you’re going to want to check the weather and road conditions before venturing out on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Overall I’m not too concerned as something like light sleet shouldn’t cause major problems. But we’re nonetheless watching this closely because of its trouble-making potential, and we’ll keep you updated. A winter weather advisory is in effect from 3am Tuesday until 6am Wednesday for the entire metro area.

GFS model for precipitation from noon to 6pm Tuesday shows sleet over most of Houston, with snow up north. (Weather Bell)

The other big story for Tuesday night is low temperatures. Right now I expect we’ll see low 20s for inland areas, mid-20s for central parts of the Houston area, and upper-20s for the coast. Obviously you should take similar precautions as to what you did for the cold snap right at the beginning of the new year.

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