It is difficult to take too much pleasure out of Houston’s weather for today, and the foreseeable future—and it will be sublime after our long, muggy summer—with an intensifying hurricane bearing down on the Florida Panhandle. Unfortunately, Michael strengthened overnight into a 145-mph, Category 4 hurricane overnight. Moreover, its central pressure continues to fall this morning, indicating further strengthening is possible before a landfall later today near Panama City.
This is the most devastating storm that northwestern Florida has ever seen. Wind damage will be extensive, with even inland areas such as Tallahassee likely seeing sustained hurricane-force winds, and storm surge to the right of Michael’s landfall will be highly significant. Please heed all warnings from the National Hurricane Center.
Meanwhile, closer to home, a modest cool front is approaching the region and will push fully through Houston this morning. This should help clear out our skies and bring drier air in beginning around noon or shortly thereafter. Highs today likely will be in the mid-80s, perhaps a bit cooler for northern areas, and a bit warmer for southern areas. The dry air will really be felt tonight, as the Sun goes down and temperatures begin to fall into the 60s. This will be the really first fall-like night of the season, and the coldest night in the region since May.
The coastal flooding in low-lying areas such as Bolivar, which is due to Michael and high tides, should begin to abate later today and tonight as northerly winds exert their influence.
Thursday and Friday
We’ll have two more splendid fall days, with high temperatures ranging from 80 to the low 80s. Thursday night will be cooler like Wednesday night (shown in the graphic below), but Friday night and Saturday morning will be a tad warmer—likely upper 60s—as some moisture begins to return from the Gulf of Mexico.
A bit warmer, with highs in the low- to mid-80s, as the onshore flow resumes and humidity levels creep back up. This will still be our nicest weekend day in a long, long time however with mostly sunny skies.
Sunday and beyond
Some scattered showers are possible on Sunday, and especially Sunday night, as a stronger cold front approaches the area. Expect partly sunny skies, with highs in the mid- to upper-80s, and a warmer more humid day. But this heat won’t last, especially after the front pushes through late Sunday night or Monday morning.
Most of next week looks downright cool for fall in Houston, with high temperatures in the 60s and 70s, and several nights with lows in the 50s. Still not sure about the sunshine and cloud mix, but we can be pretty confident in the region’s coldest week in at least six months.