Storms possible Friday before a slightly cooler, pleasant weekend

The warmth continues, and we’ll have to watch for the possibility of storms on Friday.

Today

We’ll see another day a lot like Wednesday—which is to say a chance of early morning fog and then warm, with highs in the low- to mid-80s. Temperatures will again be near record highs for late March, especially for the southern half of the region. (Houston’s Hobby Airport, for example, has already tied two records this week).

Conditions tonight will be quite warm, perhaps only falling to around 70 degrees for areas closer to the coast. A more noticeable change will come with the winds, which will pick up in response to a potent upper-level system moving into the central plains states, and pushing toward the eastern United States. For Houston, this means winds will increase to about 20mph by Friday morning, with higher gusts.

Friday

We’re continuing to watch for the possibility of severe weather in Houston from the late-morning period through the late afternoon hours. As that upper-level system moves across the plains, it should produce a fairly potent line of storms at the surface. As this line moves from west to east across Texas, its southern boundary could pass through the northern Houston area, bringing the threat of strong thunderstorms and damaging winds, especially for areas around Conroe and points north.

Storm chances on Friday will be best to the northeast of Houston. (NOAA)

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The question is whether a capping inversion will limit storm activity, or breaks, in which case storms could be a little more widespread. In any case, the system should be fairly progressive, meaning it will continue to move to the east, limiting the duration of storms and their potential for significant rain accumulations.

Saturday and Sunday

Some slight rain chances will linger into Saturday morning, but for the most part conditions this weekend should be partly to mostly sunny. A very weak front should pass through on Friday along with the line of storms, and therefore I’d expect some drier air, although not much cooling. Look for highs this weekend in the low-80s, with overnight lows generally in the low 60s—although some inland areas could see upper 50s on Sunday morning.

Next week should again bring some on-and-off rain chances to Houston, with the potential for heavier rain by Wednesday or Thursday or so. But right now the details are pretty hazy.

Posted at 6:55am CT on Thursday

15 thoughts on “Storms possible Friday before a slightly cooler, pleasant weekend

  1. Patrick

    On another topic. Any sneak peaks on this Hurricane season? Are there any indications of the chance of having early season activity in the Gulf due to abnormally warm SST’s ?

    Thank You Mr. Berger.

    1. Eric

      Hi Patrick. That is a concern I have, and will be writing about the slightly increased possibility of June storms this year due to the warmer SSTs.

  2. Blackhawks Fan

    Any thoughts as to storm timing on Saturday? Driving to Champions after lunch and should be hitting downtown just in time for rush hour.

          1. Paul Robison

            Eric, I’m south of I-10, in the Ashford Forest region. In southern Houston, basically. Does that mean I’m better off (with a better chance of my power staying on) than folks in northern Houston?

  3. Phil

    You mentioned a cap possibly limiting the chance of storms tomorrow. I know what a cap is, but I’ve always wondered what causes them to occur. Sometimes they are present and sometimes they aren’t and it seems to be at different times throughout the year. Can you explain?

  4. SkyGuy

    Paul, the models I’ve seen so far show the capping inversion holding stout for areas southwest of a line from Galveston to Houston to Columbus with very little to any activity. The forecast soundings are showing mid level winds southwest at 30-35kts early Friday, and that’s a favorable capping wind direction despite the models’ bias toward lifting and eroding the inversion. North of this line, a broken squall line is possible, and this matches well with the forecasted greater values of instability. Incoming 110kt upper level jet and 80kt mid level jet will help support thunderstorm formation and organization into a fast eastward moving squall line across the northern portions of the area.

    Now, if you go north of I-10, you will likely experience damaging winds of 60mph+ as the line moves quickly across this area during the afternoon and early evening hours. Hail and tornadoes will be a secondary lesser threat. Greatest potential for severe weather will be north of HWY 105 (I live in Cut and Shoot, which is along HWY 105) where the capping inversion will be weakest. It is certainly possible that areas south of I-10, like the Ashford Forest region, will see little to no rainfall with this system.

    Can Paul rest easy with what I’ve just posted, Eric?

  5. Cotton Eyed Joe

    FWIW, the Tx. Tech forecast model doesn’t seem to be seeing much rain in and around the Houston metro, putting the better action to the north of us. Wouldn’t you think that the Tx. Tech model would be the first to pick up on any severe storms that might erupt in our area, Mr. Berger?

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