Houston’s May blowtorch should begin to extinguish some this weekend

Averaging the temperature recorded in Houston (at Bush Airport) from May 1 through yesterday would give us the hottest front 19 days of May on record back to the 1890s. It’s probably not terribly surprising. We will begin to see things change this weekend, however, and it can’t come soon enough.

While the drought situation has held stable in the Houston area, across Texas, it continues to worsen. Almost 30 percent of the state is classified as being in “exceptional” drought, level 4 of 4. (NOAA)

The drought situation has not changed much in the Houston area since last week. We still see extreme drought creeping in across Wharton, Matagorda, and Brazoria Counties. It’s really the entire state of Texas that needs some help right now. Almost 30 percent of the state is classified as being in “exceptional” drought, the most coverage of that classification since early 2012, as we were coming out of the 2011 drought.

Our chance for help both locally and statewide is about to kick into gear. But it’s a bit of a tenuous story. I’ve been watching this wet pattern closely, and we started to see the European ensemble model backpedal a bit yesterday, taking us from about 2″ above normal the next 10 days or so down to 1″ above normal. While that may not sound like a huge change, this will go a long way toward relaxing drought, and any cutting back on that would not be great news. So, fingers crossed that the next week or so performs.


The weather remains on autopilot for one more day: Sun, clouds, high humidity, and temperatures in the 90s. Winds will be up a bit today compared to recent days, with some 15 to 25 mph gusts possible. Perhaps that will help make it a bit less painful.

The wind will be a little gustier today than it has been this week, as slightly stronger onshore flow kicks into gear. (Pivotal Weather)

Most of us should stay dry, but perhaps a stray shower or storm could impact areas west of Houston later this afternoon.


We should not see any significant weather changes tomorrow, but we may notice a few additional clouds. It should not be much cooler. In fact, with a cold front moving into Texas on Saturday but coming up short of Houston, that may actually allow for a little additional onshore flow or “compressional heating” ahead of the front, which could allow us to squeeze an extra degree or two out of the air tomorrow. Shower chances look minimal during the daylight hours right now. There may be a slightly better chance at storms tomorrow night, especially north of I-10.


The big changes should really kick in on Sunday. The front will likely come up just short of Houston, but it will be close enough to the area to allow for numerous showers and storms to develop through the day on Sunday. Timing exactly where and when these will hit your backyard is impossible to do right now, but we believe most areas will see at least some rain at least once or twice on Sunday. And with a very, very humid air mass in place, any rain that does fall could be heavy, so keep alert for some localized street flooding if you’ll be out and about.

With rain and clouds, look for upper-80s or low-90s Sunday at best.

Monday & Tuesday

Weather modeling seems to agree that Monday may be a bit of a “down” day in terms of rain chances. So we may just see a few showers around with a mix of clouds and some sun. Look for highs in the upper-80s.

Tuesday should see another disturbance or two swing into the area, and that means that rain chances will probably trend up for that day. Look for scattered to numerous showers and storms with highs in the mid-80s. Again, any rain could be heavy.

The current forecast calls for a general 1 to 3 inches of rain through Wednesday. Some areas will likely see more than that, while a few others may see under an inch. (Pivotal Weather)

How much rain through Wednesday morning? There will be a very wide variability with some places seeing an inch or less and others likely seeing 2 or 3 inches or even more. Consider this map an average, but you can clearly see we’re expecting a good bit of beneficial rain through Tuesday.

One other quick note: An early season Saharan dust cloud will work into our area on Tuesday into Wednesday, so you may see a hazier, dirtier looking sky in between storms. This isn’t uncommon in early summer, but it is a bit early for a dust event of this magnitude based on my experience. I would not read into it meaning anything in particular, however, as I don’t believe there’s any established correlation between early season dust and the upcoming hurricane season.

Later next week

Questions begin to arise later next week as to whether we can keep this wetter pattern going with daily shower and storm chances, or if things dial back a bit. Based on the latest data, I would expect a healthy chance of rain again on Wednesday before storm chances diminish a good bit on Thursday and Friday.

Memorial Weekend looks pretty good right now. Lower-end rain chances may build back in on Sunday or Monday, but as of now, it’s nothing too serious. We’ll keep tabs on it, but at this point, I would say at least 60 percent of the weekend looks great. It will be hot and humid, of course, with highs likely around 90 or a bit hotter. More next week!

8 thoughts on “Houston’s May blowtorch should begin to extinguish some this weekend”

  1. What are chances of these upcoming “storms” being sever events (high winds, tornado chances, etc…)? We need and would love the rain…just not the other mess. Thanks for what you do!

  2. This weather has not felt very hot. The mornings and nights have been chilly, and the daytime is only hot if you are right in direct sun. The punishing winds have returned. If you ride on a bicycle or motorcycle, the winds are unpleasant and make you tired when pedaling, and feeling like you are going to blow off your bike. The constant roaring sound gives me a headache. It reminds me of a Lillian Gish film that I saw in the late 1920s.

    • The Wind! I know that movie. If we go too much longer without rain, I think it may really feel that way.

  3. I doubt it. Pretty much all predictions of a “good rain” for Houston this year have been wrong, as the rain systems moved north of us and away from us. The front is going to stall out north of us, so why would this one be any different.

  4. Since we’re nearing “official” hurricane season beginning 6/1, and given Saharan dust’s impact as we get into Aug-Sep, how about a discussion about the Loop Current and its effects on Gulf “storminess” at the height of the season. Just saw an interesting discussion of Loop by a certified meteorologist.

    Thanks for the continued great, no-hype reporting !

  5. Have we always received Saharan dust storms? Seems like they started about 5 years ago and has been an annual recurrence ever since. I don’t recall seeing the dust prior to that, but maybe I just didn’t notice.

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