It’s been hot in Houston. Wednesday’s high temperature reached 89 degrees, and the nights remain humid. This late summer-like pattern will remain for about five more days, before a cool front arrives next week, most likely on Tuesday. In this post we’ll also discuss Tropical Depression 16. (Update: This became Tropical Storm Nate in the 7am CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center).
Thursday and Friday
Warm, mostly sunny days linger under the influence of high pressure. We will continue to see high temperatures near 90 degrees, with overnight lows around 70.
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
For the most part, we can expect mostly sunny days, with continued warm weather. However, as the tropical depression—likely Nate by then—moves into the Gulf of Mexico we may see some moisture associated with the storm that produces some rain showers over Houston. I’d bet on hot and sunny, but we’re going to leave open the slight possibility of some rain for now, and issue a forecast with more confidence tomorrow. (Either way, we’re not expecting significant, flooding rainfall).
Tuesday and beyond
There’s still some uncertainty about the timing and intensity, but a cold front remains likely to move through Houston by around Tuesday, bringing drier air and cooler weather. We still have some questions about how cool it will get, but I have some hope that the second half of next week may see high temperatures in the 70s, and overnight lows in the upper 50s or lower 60s. It should feel great, regardless.
Tropical Depression 16
The depression should move over Central America today, bringing heavy rainfall to Nicaragua and Honduras. It should spend Friday moving across the northwestern Caribbean Sea before crossing into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday morning. The forecast models have come into better agreement during the overnight hours, zeroing in on a landfall location from the central Louisiana coast to the Florida Panhandle, with New Orleans as the most probable location for now. This is reflected in the narrowing cone of uncertainty in the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center:
Less certain is the storm’s intensity, which may be fairly ragged after interacting with Central America today. The most likely scenario is that this system remains a tropical storm, or very weak hurricane, as it approaches the northern Gulf of Mexico coast this weekend. However, given the Gulf’s warmth, and some hints from a few models, we cannot rule out rapid intensification on Friday, or especially Saturday. So right now, while winds are not a major concern for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, they could become one.
As for rainfall, the “good” aspect of this system is that high pressure to its east should help accelerate the storm northward, meaning that affected areas won’t see the kinds of never-ending, stationary rains produced in some hurricanes. (cough, Harvey, cough).