Stephen Colbert described Houston weather as a combination of the heat of Texas and the humidity of New Orleans. That's actually not far off in the summer. We are a fairly tropical climate. For the past couple weeks, however, it's felt more like a jungle during monsoon season. Now that Mother Nature has gotten that out of her system, we'll be settling into our standard summer weather patterns.
In case you had forgotten, what with the blistering drought last year, that means highs in the low to mid 90s and lows in the 70s. It will be hot and partly cloudy most days and there will often be a shower or even a thunderstorm that rolls through town, the reason for that near-constant 20 to 30 percent chance of rain.
This is normal for us in Houston and it will continue for about the next ten weeks or so -- can you believe it's only ten-ish weeks to October? -- before we start to get, wait for it, actual cool fronts passing through our area. Sigh.
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For now, it's hot and it will stay hot...and humid...and that's fine given what we had to suffer through last year. With a fairly sturdy El Niño pattern forming in the Pacific, we can expect a slightly milder, slightly wetter summer and a slightly cooler and slightly wetter winter as well. But before we get there, we have to go through the summer and hurricane season.
The bad news is that the season started off very quickly with four named storms right out of the gate. The good news is that it has died down substantially since then and there are no signs of anything developing anytime soon. Typically, El Niño means slower than usual tropical weather seasons, and forecasters have predicted 2012 will fall into that pattern. Even with the early-season flare-up of storms, we are likely settling in for a fairly quiet hurricane season.
Obviously, it only takes one hitting you square in the nose to make predictions seem trite and useless, but good news is good news and we won't have to truly worry about hurricanes until the heart of the season between mid-August and mid-September.
For now, enjoy the normal weather as much as possible, which means lots of air conditioning, liberal coatings of sunscreen and as much pool time as you can muster.