Tag: tropics

Mostly quiet weekend for Houston

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:35 AM

Good morning, and welcome to another Friday. Before we get into the forecast, I wanted to bring your attention to an event that was held yesterday at Rice University. “Flooding, water reuse and resource recovery: Trends and opportunities” was held at the Baker Institute at Rice. They were planning to discuss water use issues initially. But post-Harvey, they put together a good panel including Jeff Lindner, Harris County’s Flood Control meteorologist to discuss Harvey and some of the issues around flooding. I encourage you to watch the presentations, which can be accessed from the event web page. After the three presentations, there was a Q&A period. This is one of many conversations that will need to continue in the wake of Harvey.

One other quick note. I’ll have a long post later this morning that will recap the incredible tornado outbreak that accompanied Hurricane Harvey here in the Houston area. So far, the National Weather Service has confirmed 29 tornadoes in the Houston area. We’ll drill into some of the bigger ones and ones we have damage pictures from. Look for that around 10 AM.

On to the forecast…

Friday & Weekend

This weekend should be fairly straightforward. We should be dry once again today. We hit the low 90s on Thursday, and we’ll probably hit that or exceed it again today. Aside from the heat and humidity, it will be sunny.

For Saturday and Sunday, not a ton of change, but there will be some subtleties. Precipitable water values will edge upwards from just over an inch today and Saturday to around 1.5″ to 1.75″ on Sunday. Don’t worry, that is not abnormal for this time of year. It does mean that we should see at least a few showers and perhaps isolated thunderstorms around each afternoon, particularly on Sunday. Another don’t worry moment: The rains won’t be widespread, and they shouldn’t be too heavy either (and many areas will stay dry). But don’t be shocked or alarmed if you see some showers around this weekend.

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As of 7:45 PM Friday, Hurricane Harvey has been officially upgraded by the National Hurricane Center to a category four storm with 130 mph maximum sustained winds. Port Aransas just gusted to 105 mph as the eyewall approaches. Should Harvey make landfall at its current intensity, it will be the strongest storm (by wind) to hit Texas since 1961’s Hurricane Carla (which came ashore just north of where Harvey should) and the strongest in the U.S. (by wind) since Charley hit Southwest Florida in 2004.

Haunting: Harvey strengthens to a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches landfall near Port Aransas and Rockport. (NOAA)

 

Coastal Texas from near Corpus Christi north to Matagorda are being absolutely pummeled by wind and squalls  and they will continue to deal with this in the hours ahead. Few words needed to describe the situation there, and our thoughts are with folks that live in that region.

Here in the Houston area, things are also active. We’ve had numerous tornado warnings issued throughout the day today, mainly south of US-59 and I-10. As these squalls and feeder bands on the north side of Harvey come ashore, they are capable of producing brief tornadoes, mainly in the coastal counties. These are extremely difficult to warn on because they spin up so quickly, and the NWS Houston office has done an outstanding job thus far with them. If you are placed under a tornado warning tonight, do take it seriously and seek shelter at your location (lowest level of the building in an interior room). Have a way to receive warnings overnight. A tornado watch remains posted until at least 2 AM for the Houston area, along and south of US-59 to I-10.

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Lots to get to today, including Monday’s eclipse and the tropics. But first, we have some breaking news: August in Houston is brutal. It continues in 2017 like almost every other August. Our last 5 days have seen high temperatures of 97°, 96°, 97°, 96°, and 97°. By that metric, today should see a high temperature of 96°, right? Potentially. These temperatures, while blistering hot, aren’t a whole lot hotter than normal. But when combined with the humidity, it’s felt pretty terrible. This will mostly continue.

Today & Weekend

Lather, rinse, repeat. This forecast should be pretty straightforward. Expect sunshine and hot, humid weather. High temperatures will top off in the mid or upper 90s. We’re running just a little cooler this morning than we have seen lately, so perhaps we can avoid more Heat Advisories today or tomorrow. Regardless of whether we do or not, take it easy outdoors. An isolated downpour is entirely possible on any given afternoon in one or two spots. The best chance for this would probably be on Sunday.

Monday & Eclipse

The more I watch Monday’s forecast the more I get a little uneasy. Now, I still think the vast majority of the region will have a fine opportunity to view our partial eclipse. But I’m watching a tropical wave and upper level low moving across the Gulf early next week. The timing of the arrival of the leading edge of this disturbance is Monday afternoon. Models insist the best available moisture for the most clouds will remain out over the Gulf to our east. That’s encouraging. So for now, we’re going to continue to spin the forecast optimistically. Yes, a chance of a downpour or thunderstorm will exist in the area, especially south and east of Houston by eclipse time. But I suspect we aren’t going to see too many serious clouds. So, I feel optimistic, but we’ll be watching the evolution of this forecast closely through the weekend.

(Space City Weather)

 

Elsewhere across East Texas, other than passing cumulus clouds, it looks pretty good. For those of you traveling to another state, here’s an update:

Green and purple on this map indicates the best chance for clouds and/or showers during the eclipse. (Weather Bell)

 

Washington, Oregon, and Idaho may see some low clouds or haze issues in spots, but Wyoming and western Nebraska look good. Eastern Nebraska into northwest Missouri has the best shot at cloud cover it appears. Conditions should improve near the peak eclipse spots of southern Illinois and Kentucky. A few showers may be possible in the Southeast, but I suspect they’ll be hit or miss.

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An early look at solar eclipse weather

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:25 AM

Locally, the weather this week will be pretty standard for mid-August. It’s going to be hot. There will be a few opportunities for storms, but the majority of the week will see the majority of Southeast Texas dry. More on this in a second. First, let’s talk solar eclipse.

Eclipse outlook

We’re one week from one of the most talked about astronomical events in the U.S. in a long time. It’s certainly exciting, and understandably, there’s demand for eclipse weather forecasts. So, we’ll be happy to offer up our opinions here. First, locally, I think we look pretty standard in terms of thunderstorm chances. Odds are it will be partly to mostly sunny with just a few developing showers, mainly south and east of downtown Houston.

The initial outlook for eclipse viewing in Houston looks pretty typical for mid to late August: Sun, some passing clouds, and developing showers southeast of town.

 

The good news is that, assuming standard summer weather here in Houston, you probably won’t have to drive very far to get out of a downpour and into sunshine. All in all, I’m optimistic on our weather for the eclipse right now. We’ll keep you posted.

Some of you may be considering traveling into the path of totality of the eclipse, which stretches from Oregon into Wyoming across Missouri and offshore from South Carolina. We take a crack at things here, using some major cities along the path (Hopkinsville and Carbondale are the approximate locations of the greatest eclipse and longest duration of the eclipse respectively).

It’s a bit early to pin down exactly how things will look, but initially, the greatest chance of disappointment may be on the eastern edge of the eclipse path over the U.S., in South Carolina. This can certainly change, however.

 

Based on a brief look at the weather models for next Monday around the time of the eclipse, the best chance of rain may be in the Carolinas. Models disagree further west (including Nashville, Hopkinsville, Carbondale, and St. Louis), with a chance of rain showers potentially. For now, I’d spin it optimistically. I don’t see any reason to be overly nervous in any given place. I am watching a band of cloud cover showing up on some models from northern Colorado into Wyoming and perhaps the Plains (think Lincoln, NE & Kansas City). Again, it’s quite early for a precise cloud cover forecast, but we wanted to offer up an early opinion for you. Look for further updates this week.

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