Southeast Texas continues to roast with no end in sight

The excessive heat warning is back for most inland counties in the Houston area, including Houston-proper, with high temperatures expected firmly above 100 degrees. Yesterday was 101 at both Bush and Hobby, but yesterday was also notable in that the 83 degree low temperature at IAH matched our warmest low of 2023 and ties with 10 other dates for the second warmest low temperature on record there.

Additionally, Eric noted that yesterday would be a bit breezier, and it was. I was out on the east side of the region for work, and I have to tell you, those onshore winds were ripping. Hopefully that provided a little relief in spots. With high pressure sitting over us, and a stalled out front across the Red River, we actually are ending up in a situation that’s a little reminiscent of springtime, albeit with August temperatures. Low pressure formed over northwest Texas, and the gradient (or difference in pressure) between that low pressure and surface high pressure off to our south and east has led to windier conditions than we’ve seen in some time.

Southerly winds were ripping on Wednesday thanks to a tighter pressure gradient than we’ve seen over our area in a minute. (NOAA)

For Bush Airport, yesterday was the windiest day (based on average wind speed) since May 12th!

Factor in winds and drought and dry air during the afternoons, and we continue to have a high risk of wildfires across a large chunk of Texas, including the Houston area. We’ve seen some sudden and erratic fire behavior at times from new starts in central Texas as well as in Louisiana. Today’s fire outlook from the Texas A&M Forest Service continues to show high or very high risk of wildfires in the northern half of the Houston metro area. Please use extreme caution across the entire area. The last time it was this windy in the area, the soil had a good deal of moisture. Things have really dried out since.

Fire danger today is in the high to very high category across the northern half of the Houston metro area. While risk is lower elsewhere, given the strong winds at times, please be extremely cautious. (Texas A&M Forest Service)

As far as the weather goes, it remains a pretty easy forecast.

Today and Friday

Sunny, hot, and breezy with highs in the low-100s and lows in the low-80s.

Saturday and Sunday

Sunny, hot, and breezy at times, with highs in the low-100s and lows in the low-80s.

The 7-day rainfall forecast from NOAA shows nada; absolutely zero relief. (Pivotal Weather)

Monday and Tuesday

Sunny and hot, with highs in the low-100s and lows near 80 degrees.

There is nothing in our models right now that makes us optimistic for a change in our pattern over the next 7 to 10 days. The good news is that one day it will change. We just can’t tell you what day right now.

In all seriousness, please take it easy and check on vulnerable friends and family. And once again, please use caution with respect to fire danger. Wildfire risk has not been to this level of seriousness in these parts of Texas since 2011.

55 thoughts on “Southeast Texas continues to roast with no end in sight”

  1. So what is it that is making this high just basically sit on us for a month and a half at this point? We always get highs that sit on us in the summer, but not usually for 6 weeks straight…

    • There is no simple answer to your question. The main driver is the El Nino pattern in the Pacific that is forcing the jet stream north and blocking any attempt by the jet stream to move south as a front. Its like having a rock in a stream that is causing an eddy to sit in one place, spinning away. The get rid of the eddy one has to remove the rock.

    • Seriously?
      We love this “dry heat” much more than the usual mold and insect proliferating humidity.

  2. “no end in sight” … wrong, it’s called November. About 80 days left in the Houston Oven.

  3. Looking at the NOAA climate pages, I can’t help notice that they are predicting below normal precipitation for Texas in the next few months. Does that indicate that they are predicting minimal hurricane risk?

  4. The next week does have better hope compared to this one:

    From what I see, there is some sort of “inverted trough” going into northeastern Mexico early next week 14th-15th. The upper level moisture looks stretched enough to pass over the area, which might spark some activity.

    Then, midweek onward (so 16th and beyond) all the models seem to be showing some sort of “boundary”(?) coming in?

    Both EURO and GFS generate stuff in that range too, but CMC is by far the most aggressive. It’s been said that CMC performs the “best” in terms of “picking out shallow airmasses” … which colder airmasses tend to be when at their equatorward edge.

  5. Nice maps today; although, in the Forecast Fire Danger map, I couldn’t tell the difference between the turquoise for Low and turquoise for Moderate colors in the Fire Danger Ratings.

  6. It will take a strong tropical storm to break this drought. Unfortunately that could lead to flooding. This is worst than 2011

    • I’m definitely pro tropical depression at this point. Possibly even pro tropical storm if it’s weak. Never pro hurricane but you’re right that we are going to need more than short bursts of cold front rain to make up the lost rain.

    • I too am all for a tropical system to break this misery, but only one that doesn’t stay too long. I remember Allison. Misery of a different kind.

  7. When was the last time it rained in the Houston Metro area? My memory fades and Google doesn’t help.

    • Really gotta look into relocating out of this state. I don’t know how people can continue to live like this. The nights are the worst, no wind in sight, still can’t breathe because of horrible humidity, just sad.

      • The quality of life has def gone to the drain in Texas. It wasn’t like this years ago. Yeah it got hot, but nights were cooler and it rained every now and then. Now it’s been almost a month with temperatures above 100 and nights so warm it feels like an oven. In Phoenix it can be like this but it rains! The monsoon brings rain to that area even when it is so hot. Here it’s just hot as hell. You can’t do anything outside anymore until after then sun goes down and even then it’s super hot still. Mornings are not cool anymore. Same humid heat. Then the winters are so extreme. Too cold in the mornings. Too cold to have any nice plants survive. It’s either this or another Harvey. It’s just very extreme weather and been getting worse.

        • Phoenix has not had any measurable rain since March of this year. Their “monsoon season” this year has only brought traces: far less than the major TX cities have recieved this summer.

        • Amen. Houston is unlivable outside for 7 to 8 months of the year. Don’t care how cheap it is (or was) to live here; it’s no longer worth it.

          • No, Sept through May is fine. Even June of most years is relatively “bearable.” The worst heat in typical years is limited to July and Aug. So only 2 truly “unbearable” months.

      • I am with you, Ana. I am actively pursuing new positions…preferably something remote, so that I can make my grand exit out of Texas.

    • Places in Houston got rain last week Aug 1. Very isolated, though.

      The week of July 23rd was the last week with widerspread scattered development, though it was mostly confined to south of I-10. Hobby recorded 1.58 inches on July 25th.

    • According to Frank Billingsley who has a daily counter, it’s been 35 days since any measurable rain in Houston. And that was one day on July 6 or 7. Then 30 days of no measurable rain prior to that, so basically 64 days of no rain and counting.

  8. Why people continue to flock to this state is a huge mystery to me. At least up north, people expect to be stuck inside for most of the winter given the cold and short days. In Texas, we’re stuck inside for the 5 months when the days are the longest and people elsewhere are enjoying being outside. Every February and March I start getting a pit in my stomach knowing what’s on the way.

    The worst thing about Texas summers is that it doesn’t really cool down at night. It gets down to 75-80, but then the humidity goes way up and mosquitos come out. Though I suppose that is one silver lining to this summer – I haven’t been bitten (or maybe even seen) by a mosquito since May.

      • Doesn’t really help when your house is valued at near $1 million (for a starter home, which keeps going up by leaps and bounds each year thanks to an overly aggressive Houston tax assessment department) with a tax rate of 2.2 percent…

        • Starter home for a million? That’s just an absolute lie, bud. Nowhere near a million will get you a great starter house.

    • I like the heat, and would point out that you are more likely to die from cold than from heat, not to mention when you crash on the ice and then your car rusts away from road salt, and then, when it is dark at 3 PM every day. As much as people in Houston cry and cry about hot weather, you see way more people out in 95 degrees vs. 50 degrees.

      • This. The heat is annoying but winter in the north is much worse in all aspects. I’ve adopted the mindset of radical acceptance. Summer is hot. Sometimes miserably so and iI expect it. I’ve enjoyed this summer more than any other thanks to this change in mindset.

      • Totally disagree. No one’s cars are eaten by salt anymore, either. Incidentally, I’d take 50 over 95 (feels like 105) any day.

    • 75 or even 78 is cool enough, but above 80 is just unbearable, a couple of degrees makes a difference.

      • The dew point doesn’t drop at all now. I walk early every morning and this summer has been the worst in the 10 years we’ve lived in League City

  9. It’s at the point where you need to water the trees in your yard. I remember the tree die off in August 2011. So don’t forget your trees!

  10. When can I replace the grass in my yard with some rocks and plant an ocotillo or two?

  11. Interested if you two have any opinions on the effect of the Tonga volcanic eruptions on this years heat? I had heard nothing of it till recently but have read a few interesting perspectives.

  12. 2011 was much worse. It was by far the driest of all time with only 14.8” the entire year, including an 8-month span Feb-Sept with less than 7”. There were countless wildfires outside of Houston, including one that nearly took out Bastrop. For comparison 2023 rainfall is currently at 22” and most of Houston did not enter drought conditions until July.
    Then there was the heat. The most number of days thresholds were broken in every category…105 degrees (5 times) 100 degrees (46 times) 98 degrees (69 times) 95 degrees (108 times) and 90 degrees (145 times). August 27th (high 109) was the all-time hottest day in city history. There were a total of 27 daily record highs tied or broken. 2023 so far has hit 100 degrees 13 times with the highest being 103. Low temperatures are warmer than they used to be as a result of urban heat island effect and will continue this trend.

    • While statistically true, none of it makes me feel any better about Houston summers. Anything above 90 degrees and I might as well be on fire, so pretty much every year is the same.

    • Thank you for providing some levity to this discussion. This summer is hot, and it’s not fun, but 2011 was much, much worse and 2012 was bad too. Remember they were all saying the lakes would NEVER recover? And then we had 2015,2016,and 2017 where it darn near rained every day.

      This too shall pass people. And if you hate it so much, just move.

    • You are exactly right! I’m a native Houstonian and all my life have spent a lot of time outdoors. Today people don’t go outside because of technology I guess. Get outside you are not going to fry.

  13. This constant sun and heat is so depressing and hard on us who have reverse s.a.d. I know, ironic considering I live in Texas, but I love my husband. I cannot wait for the wet cold winter the Farmers Almanac is saying we will have. Bring. It. On.

  14. You can’t say which day it will change? I’m thinking more which year?

    Really sick of Texas summers. If you’re not roasting, you’re drowning. Need to find something better.

  15. In August of 1866, General Philip Henry Sheridan spent some time in our beloved state, and told a newspaper man: “If I owned Texas and all hell, I would rent out Texas and live in hell.”

    • Thanks for that quote, James. I read it decades ago, and I repeat it to myself on the first extreme heat day of our summer.

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