Surprise! Quick storms this morning augur a more active pattern

Good morning. And for those of us who live in the Clear Lake area, it was an early morning as thunder rumbled through at about 5am. I will confess that I did not expect this. So what’s going on, and what does it mean for the forecast?

There are a couple of things at play here. First of all, the high pressure ridging that was supposed to keep us drier for most of the weekend and to start next week isn’t quite as pronounced, nor does it extend as far south into Texas as previously thought. We can see the effect of this by looking at a NAM model forecast of precipitable water for Texas at 5am CT Saturday morning.

NAM model forecast for (Weather Bell)
NAM model forecast of precipitable water for Saturday morning at 5am CT. (Weather Bell)

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Calmer weather for Houston

After emerging from Thursday’s storms mostly unscathed, Houston and Southeast Texas can look forward to much calmer weather as we go into the weekend.


After days of “chance of thunderstorms,” we can pretty much finally take it out of the forecast. If I were a total stickler, I’d keep about a 10% chance of a shower south of I-10 and east of I-45 in, but I’m not, so we’ll call it partly to mostly sunny today after some morning low clouds or fog. Houston has yet to hit 90° this year, and today should be no exception. I expect us to max out in the mid 80s today.

High temperatures today should range from the low to mid 80s from the Brazos Valley to the Houston area to the coast. (Weather Bell).

It looks like a good evening, with the Astros back in town and the Dash in action at BBVA as well.

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Houston survives the “Japan” storm, calmer weather ahead

As a line of strong storms moved through Houston this afternoon Matt Lanza snapped the following radar image and then, somehow the twisted tendrils of his mind thought of … Japan. And thus we had this image.

When they reached the coast this afternoon they looked like ... Japan. (Matt Lanza)
When they reached the coast this afternoon they looked like … Japan. (Matt Lanza)


Anyway, the storms made nice eastward progress through the area at about 20mph, or a little faster. It’s a good thing they did because some locations (such as Ellington Field near Clear Lake) reported as much as 1 inch of rain in 15 minutes. Overall the storm movement generally limited accumulations from 0.5 to 3 inches of rain in total. There were also scattered reports of damaging winds and trees down in some areas of Brazoria and Galveston counties, as well as a tornado warning for the coast (since expired).

But now the storms are moving swiftly to the east and the heavy rain should be completely gone from the metro area by 5pm (it is already gone from central Houston). We may see some additional light to moderate rain this evening, but everything should end during the overnight hours. And then the rain, any organized storms, are gone for several days at least—well into next week.

We’re also going to see a brief bit of cooling and my advice is to enjoy Friday morning. Low temperatures could fall into the mid- to upper-60s north of Houston, and even areas closer to the coast may fall to 70 degrees. Enjoy, because we’re going to see lot sunshine and humidity by the weekend and next week. The sunshine is fine, but it means we’re going to be in the 90s soon, with muggy mornings in the 70s.

Forward line of storms moving into Houston now, more to come

As you may have heard from the rumbling outside your windows, the forward line of showers and thunderstorms associated with an upper-level system is now moving into the Houston area. This is not the main event, however, as stronger storms remain to the south-southwest of Houston and are steadily moving toward the metro area.

Already the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for parts of Colorado, Fort Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties until 12:45pm CT. These storms are bringing heavy rain and wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Area of severe thunderstorm warning in effect until 12:45pm CT. (National Weather Service)
Area of severe thunderstorm warning in effect until 12:45pm CT. (National Weather Service)

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