Walking out of the Houston Press offices last night around 6:30 p.m., there was a noticeable difference in temperature from the last time I had been out at lunch and a funny feeling of water dropping on my head. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as rain.
Thunderstorms rumbled through the Houston area yesterday during drive time (naturally) ahead of a cold front that will move through the city today, bringing with it cooler and drier air -- our first legitimate cold front of the year. Most of the county saw about a half inch of rain, though some areas got over an inch-and-a-half. Still other areas, like downtown, received no measurable amount, meaning just enough to dampen the sidewalks.
There were also widespread reports of hail, though none appeared to be substantial enough to cause major damage.
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This will not do much of anything to lessen our drought conditions, but it's something. In fact, the afternoon heating from warm, moist air off the Gulf mixing with cooler air from the north is exactly the type of weather pattern we would normally expect around here as we move into fall.
Speaking of fall, that cold front should drop high temperatures into the low and mid 80s this weekend with lows in the low 60s (cooler if you live north of the city). With significantly drier, stable air, it will feel much cooler as well. Unfortunately, with dry, breezy conditions comes the increased chance of wildfires.
The trend of warming up and cooling down will continue as usual for Houston this time of year. If we are to hope for real fall weather, the extended forecast shows a strong cold front moving through the area in about 12 days, bringing with it the possibility of additional rain and dropping daytime highs into the low 70s and lows into the mid 50s. Forecasts out that far are highly unreliable, but a kid can dream.
For now, enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, but don't go lighting any fires. Our area is still a tinderbox.