Houston has about another week or 10 days of summer-like weather before we finally transition into a fall-like weather pattern. Aside from the heat and scattered thunderstorms, there are no major weather concerns during that time. Meanwhile, a day after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, we are only beginning to come to grips with the storm’s devastation there.
Much like we saw on Wednesday, when nearly 3 inches of rain fell east of Houston near Mont Belvieu, we have an unstable atmosphere above Houston today capable of producing heavy rain showers. Although most areas may see at least some light rain (measured in tenths of an inch) today, the heavier thunderstorms should be scattered and therefore I don’t anticipate any widespread street flooding. But we’ll be watching conditions this afternoon just in case.
Friday and Saturday
As high pressure builds over the area a bit, rain chances should fall back to about 25 percent, or less, each day. Look for warm, mostly sunny days with highs in the low 90s, and a chance of afternoon showers. The end of summer may be nigh, but it will still be with us this weekend.
Sunday through Wednesday
Houston will fall back into a potentially rainier period, but none of the models are doing crazy things in terms of accumulation. I think most areas will probably see about 1 inch of rain or so from now through the middle or later part of next week. That should be enough to help green up our lawns. Highs will remain near 90 degrees.
There isn’t a whole lot of agreement on timing just yet, but it does look like Houston will see its second cold front by sometime around next weekend, and the early part of October looks somewhat cooler and less humid than our present weather. Certainly, I can’t wait.
This storm struck Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, and although most meteorological equipment on the island was destroyed, there were widespread reports of winds of about 120 mph across most of the island. But that may not be the worst part, as about 15 to 25 inches of rain fell over mountainous parts of Puerto Rico, leading to devastating mudslides and flooding. Even this morning, Maria is only very slowly moving northward away from the island, with its southeastern rain bands still lashing the island.
Power has gone out across the island of about 3.5 million residents. Preliminary estimates are that it may take 3 to 6 months to restore service. Imagine being on an island only about three times the size of Harris County, without power, your home flooded, your roof torn off, and roads impassable. Now imagine there’s no help coming down the highway from Austin, or Dallas, or Louisiana, or—anywhere just yet. That’s the situation Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, find themselves in today.
Maria, itself, is now expected to remain well offshore from the continental United States. But its damage is done.