Thursday matched Houston’s hottest day on record and brought our first official rain in almost 50 days

Thursday was a day for the books in Houston. Hobby hit 107°, Huntsville hit 111°, but the 109° at Bush is only the third time on record we’ve ever recorded a temperature that hot in Houston. It was last done on August 27, 2011 and prior to that on September 4, 2000. Yesterday was also our second hottest day on record by average temperature (high + low divided by two). Even Galveston got into the act hitting 99 degrees for the first time since 2012.

Thursday was one of the hottest days ever recorded in the Houston area. (NOAA)

While I would hesitate to say we’re going to get a reprieve today and tomorrow, the heat should be a little less intense, if only by a few degrees. There is a chance that we make a run deep into the 100s again on Sunday before some changes.

Not only was yesterday a historic heat day, it snapped a record streak of 48 consecutive days without measurable rainfall at IAH, which is the official Houston record now for longest dry streak. Hobby saw a storm in late July that has kept 2023 off their list of longest dry streaks (it did not rain there so yesterday was day 30 in a row; the record is 58 in spring of 2011). Not everyone saw rain yesterday, but some did, and it even led to some damage in Kingwood, most likely from downburst winds. We will have some other rain chances over the next few days, but just be warned that not everyone will get to partake.

The entire Houston area is in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, meaning it’s getting very, very serious. (US Drought Monitor)

We aren’t running into critically severe drought issues with things like water supply. Yet. Water restrictions are spreading however. But we are tinder dry in many parts and it continues to produce wildland fires. We’ve heard from some folks watching their foundations closely as well. So, yes, we need more rain.

Today & Saturday

Expect sunshine and clouds. We’ll top off in the low to mid-100s, with some humidity. It’ll be another day of heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. Rain chances will be in the 10 to 20 percent range today, mainly north of I-10. Areas to the south will probably be in the 5 to 10 percent range. Tomorrow’s rain chances are probably a little less than that.


We should see a slight spike in temperatures Sunday, relative to Friday and Saturday. So look for highs well into the 100s on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon will rival last Sunday and yesterday for one of the hottest days of summer. (Pivotal Weather)

A few late day or evening storms may pop up, some of which could be on the stronger side, moving northeast to southwest across the area.

Monday through late week: Some good news

More of the same on Monday, with highs approaching the mid-100s again. Areas south of Houston could push deep into the 100s again. However, we have a front. This is not an autumn cool front, but it is a bit of a humidity boundary. This will probably swing through the Houston area Monday night or Tuesday. As it does so, showers and thunderstorms will be at their best chances. Not everyone will see rain, but it could be heavy at times where it falls. Coverage may be on the order of 30 to 40 percent or so.

Behind the front, it won’t be refreshing, but the mornings are almost certainly going to be noticeably less stifling. Look forward to that on perhaps Wednesday and Thursday morning. Daytime highs will have a bite taken from them, so instead of low to mid-100s every day, we’re probably looking at upper-90s and some low-100s. I’m not sure if we’re going to entirely rid ourselves of heat advisories, but we should have some days that will be comparatively “not bad” for this summer.

With a front pushing offshore, it will feel less hot but the precipitation forecast for days 6 through 10 is disappointingly below average. (Weather Bell)

Unfortunately, assuming a front does push offshore, that’s going to take a big bite out of rain chances for mid to late next week. We may feel more comfortable, but we’ll continue to have to deal with increasing drought problems.


We continue to watch this potential system in the eastern Gulf next week, and we continue to deem it no threat to Texas. Behind that we don’t see anything else of note for us in the tropics. More details on this can be found at our companion site, The Eyewall.

48 thoughts on “Thursday matched Houston’s hottest day on record and brought our first official rain in almost 50 days”

  1. Yeah…our area got nothing yesterday. We are at about .2 inches of rain in the last month and a half now. Fun times.

  2. So it rained in West Houston in the early evening! I started watching it on radar. It took forever to get here, but we got an actual thunderstorm and heavy rain. So happy! The Palm trees have been in bad shape.

  3. Absolutely, one of the best weather sites on the internet. One of the first things I read after getting up each morning. Keep up the good work.

  4. Our back yard rain gauge measured .63″ in Oak Forest yesterday. It was so unexpected but truly appreciated. I was out on a walk and sprinted home in order to make sure my rain buckets were positioned correctly. I’ve never run so fast in my life LOL.

  5. So basically if you do get rain it’ll probably knock out your power leave you even hotter.

    • That’s what happened to me (I live in the “Greater” Spring Valley Area): got about 1/2” of rain beginning around 6:40 pm, lost power and was without a/c until 2 am.

  6. Nothing personal, but this has been freakin’ ridiculous.

    I’ll be so happy when I can get out of this place – I’m tired of “historic weather”.

    • Same here. Looking forward to moving to the Midwest soon. I’ll enthusiastically accept my 25 days of snow/year over this.

      • Mid-south for me…. Timing and location TBD. I can handle the occasional tornado. Grew up with them.

    • Historic weather is happening all over the world. Can’t escape it. It’s either too much rain resulting in flooding, no rain resulting in drought, fires, hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, etc. it’s nuts!

    • I love a lot of things about Houston but this is the first summer in over 20 years that I have been away in the Midwest… I have to say, it’s been glorious. A few hot days here and there but it’s always short lived. I am even looking forward to, I dare say, a proper winter. I do miss the restaurants and food scene in Houston though!

  7. For truly “historic” weather, I’d like it to set a record LOW every day for the next few weeks.

    Given this time of year, it wouldn’t have to get frosty to meet that requirement. Weather Underground says our record low for today is 66. Sixty-six would be quite nice.

  8. Heavy storm in Kingwood last evening, high winds, lots of limbs on the ground, saw one tree snapped. Lost power for a couple of hours.

  9. Hey BHF – Isn’t BL buying you a ticket? Hahahaha. Agree tho. We thought we were getting the sub tropics like we enjoyed in NOLA. But here in Houston ….increasingly it seems the weather is dominated by the US desert southwest ridges. Got the low rainfall, but lots of humidity. No rain since July 7. Just awful.

  10. Absolutely bone dry in Montrose; I am now starting to worry about my plumbing as we are so scorched. 🙁

    • Nah we moved here for the heat. I got sick of 34 and raining in May. 110 is just fine by me. 13 years and counting, not going anywhere fast.

  11. Happen to know the effect this heat/drought will have on animal & insect life?? Worried about the birds; wasps, ants & lizards seem to be doing fine…

    • I have four water dishes in my yard for birds, they all use them, some for drinking and some for bathing. The opossums and other nocturnals use them at night – squirrels are in them all the time.

      • I’ve seen the same thing in my yard. We’re close to the Lower Colorado, but we see lots of wildlife in our yard because they’re enjoying the water we have out. Just a small thing that really seems to help out the birds and small animals.

  12. For those of us who don’t have a rain gauge in our yard, we can rely on the Harris County Flood Warning System website –
    It’s got an excellent map where you can zoom in to find the closest gauge to your location, as well as set the timeframe for a lookback at totals. In my (approximate) neighborhood, I got half an inch yesterday which was the first in 48 days.

  13. Yeah the City of Houston announced some water restrictions, and I wrote to them about all of the water breaks that they have let run on for nearly a month now.

  14. We’re North of Conroe in Paranormal Village. I saw a rain cloud yesterday. We didn’t get a drop but it’s nice to know they still exist.

  15. Maybe I missed a deeper explanation of it, but at this point, it would be helpful if you did a better explanation of what macro weather conditions would break this “heat dome” weather pattern. Every August in Houston is broiling and it often has drought conditions, but then it breaks it some time from mid-September to mid-October. Why? What are the conditions that we should be looking for that will break the excessive heat? Where do you or should we look for them?

    You try to do that with hurricanes here and on Eyewall, but it would be more interesting at this point to do that with the weather than day after day of, “I’m afraid there’s nothing new to report on the weather front, and unfortunately, there’s no end in sight.”

    • We probably do need to do a post on this, but I mean, not to sound crass, but the macro conditions that would break this are really just a change. We need something to change, be it the jet stream, some large scale weather event on the other side of the world, etc. There’s no specific way this will end other than the change in seasons or a fundamental change in the broad weather pattern. Something, somewhere. And it’s not much more complicated than that. I can’t tell you how many times at my day job this summer I’ve told people, “Yeah, there’s absolutely no catalyst for changing this over the next 2-3 weeks.” Next week’s front is the first meaningful change we’ve seen I think, besides maybe Harold this week. So we’ll see if that does anything, but I’m not sure it will. Anyway, yes, we’ll try to explain this more in depth.

  16. I know there have been fires as a result of lightening yesterday in and around the Houston area. Can you post about this and whether the fires are still burning and locations? There was a huge pine that caught fire in Fall Creek neighborhood right off Beltway 8 (Mesa exit) FD put it out but it reignited. It was located on Golf club of Houston course.

  17. I counted the rain drops yesterday in the Westchase area last evening, there were about 100 of them, none reached the ground though.

    • Same here in North Harris County (1960/45). It rained for a good 5 minutes, never did see the ground get remotely wet (maybe the pavement did), and our lights flicked off three times (knocking out our AC which didn’t get cold again for about 2 hours).

  18. My wife called from her school yesterday because the HISD teachers are preparing for the return of children and of course recess considerations. She asked if the forecast highs of 105F were a typo?!? I told her no. So….There will be no outdoor recesses as long as excessive heat watches/warnings are in effect. Not a fun time to start the school year.
    The best news is that cool front trying to make a dent in the blast furnace and Texas Heat Dome. Hurray!

  19. I’ve started watering my wood deck. The wood is parched and needs moisture too. Someone ytild me they have gotten cracks in the concrete patio and they are watering it now also. So many things that need water you don’t think of.

    • Another Texas “bonus” that no one tells you about. Houses built on crappy clay soils that are so tempermental that you HAVE to water or shell out $10-20k to have your foundation re-leveled and cracks in your house repaired. The hidden costs of living here are getting ridiculous.

  20. Thank you for your daily report. It’s just so depressing. The weather, not you! Praying for rain and better weather. Trying hard to keep the areas around our foundations watered.

  21. In May of this year, John Nielsen-Gammon suggested that the almost-guaranteed arrival of El Niño would lead to a wetter than usual late fall and an end to Texas’s exceptional drought by March of 2024. Besides the near-term catalysts that would lead to a collapse of the heat dome, what are your thoughts on the mid-term prospects for an end of the drought? Are the conditions still favorable for a moist fall?

    • One would assume they are. I firmly believe by October or November this will be over. But I have to admit, we’re seeing at least a few unusual things this summer that have happened that are a little odd, and with global ocean temps as warm as they are, there is some risk that the usual El Niño behavior may be tempered somewhat. So I still have high confidence in a wet pattern emerging at some point this autumn, but it is not as high as it would have been in April or May. This is a very strong El Niño it seems, so in that regard it should help to lead to typical outcomes, but we’ll see.

  22. “The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.”
    — Alain de Botton

    The teleconnection between the tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures and our weather pattern has not happened yet but most El Niño years we are both wetter and cooler here in SE Texas. Hopefully it does not go from one extreme to the next too quick…

    • Naked.

      So you’ll probably want to be inside with the blinds drawn or in a secluded and privacy-fenced backyard.

      I’ve heard …

  23. Truly love this website so much, and the comments/community make me feel sane. Can’t wait for fall!

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