Good morning. We’re entering Houston’s “week of summer” and it’s only March. If this is too early for humid nights and hot days for you, don’t fret too much. Before the end of March it appears as though Houston will return to more seasonable, spring-like weather. But it will definitely be warm until then.
High pressure is beginning to build over the region today, but we won’t quite be in the sauna yet. Mostly cloudy skies should help to keep temperatures in the mid-80s for most areas, with light southwesterly winds. Overnight lows will drop into the low 60s for most—warmer along the coast, cooler well inland—with a mix of clouds and stars.
Wednesday and Thursday
High pressure will peak during the middle of the week for much of Texas, including the Houston area. This will lead to unseasonably warm and sunny days, with highs at or near 90 degrees for the region. These will be almost summer-like days with warm nights to match, as lows likely will only fall to around 70 degrees.
Another warm day, but we should start to see some more clouds mix in as high pressure weakens its grip over the area. Look for partly sunny skies with highs in the upper 80s.
A cold front looks set to move into the region some time on Saturday, although the timing remains somewhat uncertain, and accordingly our weather on Saturday will depend on said timing. Expect some kind of light to moderate precipitation to accompany the front, but again I don’t have much trust in the details. Lows on Saturday night should drop into the 50s.
The second half of the weekend looks splendid and spring-like. Assuming the forecast holds, look for highs in the 70s under sunny skies.
Along with cooler weather in the wake of the front, some of the forecast models are hinting at the arrival of another disturbance perhaps late Monday or Tuesday, with the potential to deliver perhaps an inch or two or rain, but overall confidence remains low. At this point, I’d expect cooler days (mostly in the 70s?) for next week.
Harris County is expected to join most surrounding counties in a “stay-at-home” order today, which means the closure of all but essential businesses, and the requirement that residents stay at home. In response to the questions about this we’ve received on social media, I just want to underscore that these are the correct measures to take in order to not overwhelm our medical systems, and give them time to prepare for, and handle the coming deluge in cases. These measures are definitely draconian, but they (in addition to aggressive testing) have been shown to be effective in countries around the world to isolate the disease.
Consider the case of Italy, which has suffered the most deaths from this disease. The country has seen extreme medical resource shortages—in some areas of the country they are no longer even testing patients 60 years or older for the disease who present with symptoms, these ill people are just told to go home. Even there, we’re beginning to see evidence that stay-at-home warnings are starting to “flatten the curve.” It will work here in the United States as well, but it will take time to appear in the data, especially as we are only now getting into a more aggressive testing posture. Note that the graphic shown above comes from an excellent source of data, updated daily, from the Financial Times. Locally, the Houston Chronicle has made much (but not all) of its Covid-19 coverage freely available.
We would like to again express our deep gratitude and admiration for all of the medical community; in addition to people who are working extremely hard work to keep services like grocery stores, pharmacies, electricity, internet, garbage collection, food production, and so much more that we all take for granted, going at this time.