Holiday weekend heat for Houston

Happy July! One month of summer is in the books, and as the calendar turns over, the heat will begin to crank up. Yesterday didn’t feel especially awful around Houston, as humidity was fairly low for this time of year. Dewpoints in the low 70s are tolerable. At least you don’t feel like you’re walking into a wall when you step outside. As we go through the holiday weekend, that will probably change.

TODAY & TOMORROW

I expect similar weather today and tomorrow to what we saw on Thursday. Rain chances look low both days, with a morning shower or storm possible near the coast and a couple hit or miss afternoon downpours possible inland. Rain chances never really go beyond 10% or so.

The biggest change will be overnight lows and humidity. While low temps have been generally in the low to mid 70s this week, we’ll see them transition to the mid or upper 70s by Saturday night/Sunday AM. With that, humidity will also increase. Dewpoints in the low 70s will transition to the mid 70s over the weekend, making the low to mid 90s each afternoon feel progressively more unpleasant.

Forecast high temperatures today look near typical for July: Hot. (Weather Bell)

Forecast high temperatures today look near typical for July: Hot. (Weather Bell)

Speaking of dewpoints, if you aren’t familiar with the term, I think it’s worth learning about. The official definition of dewpoint is here, but put simply: It’s the temperature at which you would need to cool the air for it to be saturated. Higher dewpoints mean more moisture is available in the atmosphere.

Inspired by the Capital Weather Gang in Washington, I made a chart to describe dewpoints here in Houston.

How Matt would describe Houston humidity to people.

How Matt would describe Houston humidity to people. (Inspired by a Washington Post piece)

In my own opinion, dewpoints are a lot simpler to use to explain humidity to someone than relative humidity. The way relative humidity feels has a lot of contingency on air temperature (100% humidity at 70° feels a lot different than at 30°), but dewpoints feel pretty consistent across most of the temperature spectrum. Thursday, we were in the “standard Texas humidity” range. As the weekend progresses, we’ll transition to the “muggy” range.

The “oppressively miserable” range happens periodically in Galveston, less so in Houston. Anyway, the point of this was to hopefully teach you a bit about dewpoints. I encourage you to look at those values in the future, as they’re very helpful.

SUNDAY INTO NEXT WEEK

More of the same: Hot and humid, with only a minuscule chance for a cooling downpour each day. The good news is that if you’re planning to attend fireworks displays around the area, it’ll be fine. High temperatures will be in the mid 90s both Sunday and Monday, with nighttime lows in the mid to upper 70s (probably around 80 or in the low 80s in Galveston). Beyond Monday, even more of the same: Mid 90s each day, minimal rain chances, and plenty of humidity. Next week, as a whole, looks miserable.

NWS 7 day rainfall forecast shows dry weather. (Weather Bell)

NWS 7 day rainfall forecast shows dry weather. (Weather Bell)

HOLIDAY WEEKEND TRAVEL WEATHER

Traveling this holiday weekend? We have you covered. Here’s the forecast for Saturday through Monday for some popular Texas travel destinations. This should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect across the region. It looks good, but dang hot! Thunder chances are minor and mainly west of I-35 later Sunday or Monday afternoons. Just a note, the temperatures at Big Bend are a range from higher elevations (cooler) to lower elevations (hotter). Have a safe and fun weekend!

Saturday's travel forecast

Saturday’s travel forecast

Sunday's travel forecast

Sunday’s travel forecast

Monday's travel forecast

Monday’s travel forecast

Posted at 6:10 AM by Matt Lanza

6 thoughts on “Holiday weekend heat for Houston

  1. Mike O

    I came here wondering if there was a no-hype equivalent over in Austin or Dallas — lo and behold you answered it by posting the weather for those locations like you read my mind.

    Talk about knowing your audience. 🙂

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