We think hurricane season is pretty much over for Texas

Houston has had an astonishing month when it comes to tropical cyclones. Four weeks ago we were closely watching Hurricane Laura move along the southern coast of Cuba, toward the Gulf of Mexico. And of course, over the last few days, we dealt with heavy rains from Tropical Storm Beta. So amidst a record-setting tropics season, with more than two months to go until its official end on Nov. 30, could Texas really be done with hurricanes this year?

The answer, we think, is yes. Here’s why:

  • The historical odds of a hurricane striking Texas after today, September 24, are very low. They are 1-in-50 based upon records that go back more than 150 years.
  • When we start to see cold fronts push through the region it’s a good sign that the upper-level pattern is beginning to change, making it more difficult for a storm to move westward toward Texas. We had one front last week, we may get another weaker one on Monday, followed by a stronger one on Wednesday or Thursday. Fall is coming.
  • There is no imminent development. Aside from Beta’s remains, there is nothing on the National Hurricane Center’s five-day outlook.
  • Finally, the European and GFS models are pretty quiet, in terms of tropics activity, over the next 10 to 14 days, which gets us into October.
  • Really, the only reason we’re not 100 percent confident that Texas will not see another hurricane this year is because it is 2020. Anything goes this year.

This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. (Master0Garfield/Wikipedia)

The bottom line is that we have a lot of reasons to feel good about Texas, and the tropics, for the remainder of this hurricane season. We’re not here to tell you what to do, but if you want to breathe a sigh of relief, it’s probably warranted. Should anything threaten Texas from the tropics, we will of course let you know. But at this point we’d bet against it.

Thursday

Houston will continue to enjoy nice weather on the back side of Beta as it lifts from Louisiana into Mississippi. That means northerly winds, some clouds, and highs of around 80 degrees. Low temperatures tonight should drop into the upper 60s across the Houston area.

Friday

A similar day to Thursday, although with Beta moving further away our northerly winds will shift to become easterly. This, in concert with at least partly sunny skies, should allow high temperatures to get into the mid-80s.

Saturday and Sunday

This should be a fairly warm late-summer weekend. Look for mostly sunny skies, with highs in the upper 80s to about 90 degrees. Lows will generally only fall to around 70 across the region. Rain chances are probably 10 percent or less each day.

Highlighting lows for Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 from the European ensemble forecast. (Weather Bell)

Next week

Our weather early next week is difficult to parse, because we’re not sure whether a moderate front will make it through on Monday. If it does we can expect some cooler weather, but if not we’ll probably see a couple of more days with highs of around 90 degrees. Regardless, we have pretty high confidence that a stronger front will make it through on Wednesday or Thursday. There remains a pretty good chance that at least northern parts of the metro area will see lows in the 50s by late next week or the weekend—making it really feel like fall. Is anyone else ready for fall?

33 thoughts on “We think hurricane season is pretty much over for Texas

  1. Lisa

    “it is 2020.”

    Can this year just be over?!

    Eric, Matt – thank you so much for your tireless work over the last month. We’re truly blessed to have y’all in Houston!

    1. Blackhawks Fan

      Maybe we should call our moms and find out if that offer to slap us into next year is still on the table?

  2. Mary

    Definitely ready for fall! I keep track of the weather mainly because I’m a gardener. I’ve planted our my fall garden and the veggies will be very happy to see a front next week.

  3. Haskell Moore

    ARE WE THROUGH WITH HURRICANE SEASON 2020?

    I’ve heard it stated a few times over the last week that we may be about through with hurricanes for the year so I decided to do some research of my own.

    I looked at the data from NOAA for all the storms (sub-tropical through Cat 5) that have hit Texas since the mid-1850s during the months of October, November, and December. The count shows eight, but the 1949 storm was given two names and counted twice, so the number should be seven. So I’d say that based on history, the odds are pretty good that the worst is behind us. That said, this is 2020 so I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a MurderHornetTornadoBlizzaCane next week, so let’s not completely let out guard down just yet.

    Finally, thanks to the team at Space City Weather for providing this great service. You guys are awesome!

    1. Jason

      I believe that Hurricane Jerry in 1989 was one of the few more recent hurricanes that hit the Houston Galveston area in October. Generally after mid September, tropical weather in Houston is less likely, and we already got lucky with Laura and Beta having relatively small impact on the Houston area, so let’s hope that the luck holds up.

  4. Evelyn Wernick

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. For all of your time and dedication to keeping us informed during hurricane season. You keep our minds at ease during extremely stressful times and you are all truly appreciated.

  5. Pat

    I think we have all earned a sigh of relief and a real fall at last. We deserve it!! I usually think of cool weather coming in late October so this is a great gift. We are eternally grateful to you and yours for all of your hard work and providing us with great weather information. We love you!!

    1. Tom Swinburn

      A guess? How much does temperature drop in 6 hours. The larger drop is the stronger front.

  6. Tom Swinburn

    Is anyone else ready for fall? Uh, is anyone else ready for COVID-19 to be in our rear view mirror?

  7. Milt

    Not seeing any pesky “X”s in the Atlantic, Carribean or the Gulf lifts my spirit! To the SCW crew, thanks for all the firm “hand-holding”!

  8. Pat

    Thanks for getting us through hurricane season! I love your no nonsense weather – no drama! Since we have lived in Houston (47 yrs) I have always breathed a sigh of relief when those fronts start down from up North – yay Fall!

  9. Maggie

    I Am breathing a big sigh of relief!! Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Matt and Eric.

  10. Karen Griswold

    Thank you for your cool headed reporting. I appreciate your clarity and honesty without hype.

  11. Jeanne

    Thank you for the amazing job you do for Houston! We appreciate the no-drama, but accurate weather forecasting!

  12. Mary T.

    Beta may be gone from Texas, but this cloud cover is not helping dry things up. Saw a sliver of blue yesterday afternoon then nothing since then.

  13. Sherry

    Thank you, Eric and Matt, for sharing your knowledge with all of us, and for your dedication. Your frequent, well-balanced, non-hysterical updates helped me get through Beta, as you’ve done in the past with other weather events.

  14. Flypusher

    9/24! 9/24!! 9/24!!! 9/24!!!!

    I’m thinking you guys need to design some SCW swag based on that theme.

    Also my new confocal microscope was delivered today, so double happy 9/24!!

  15. Paula E Griffith

    What good news! After this season, I feel kerfuffled…and I need a good beer. Or two. Thank you for your highly detailed, factual reports. Hubby works out of town, sometimes out of state, and we both depend on your weather analysis–it’s the best out there. You’ve done an excellent job this season. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be boring…and I can get a hair cut and drink a beer.

  16. STL Blues Fan

    Hooray! (subject to 2020 “year of hell” caution). Can’t wait for the cooler weather.

    Excellent job keeping us informed without causing mass panic.

  17. Bill & Laurie

    Thank you Eric and Matt for being the voice of reason in all the weather chaos! We appreciate you so much and the time and effort you give to this labor of love. Bring on autumn!!

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