Some people love it when the holiday decorations hit stores and when houses are decked out for Halloween...in September. They crave pumpkin everything and stare at the weather forecast for any sign of the area's first cold front of the year. Good news, fall fans, you will get your wish this week. And if history tells us anything, that first legit front of the season also means a practical end to hurricane threats along the Texas coastline.
Statistically speaking, and if you just look at the forecast maps, we are still in the heart of hurricane season. As we write this, there are two tropical storms in the Atlantic and likely more on the way. The season doesn't officially end until December 1, after all. So, why would we suggest our tropical threats may come to an end?
This week, probably overnight Tuesday or very early Wednesday, the first real cold front of the fall will push its way through Houston and off the coast. Highs will drop to around 80 degrees from Wednesday through Friday and overnight lows will be in the upper 50s for the metro area. If that isn't pumpkin-spice everything weather, we don't know what is.
But, that front also begins a climatological shift for our region. While it may not happen all at once, fronts like this begin to gradually stack up and pass through with regularity as our days get shorter and our weather turns cooler. With that change comes a virtual end to threats from the tropics this far west in the Gulf of Mexico.
As a general rule, we think of the last real day of hurricane season in Texas as September 30, but the timing is typically with that first cold front, which tends to occur about the third week of September each year. And, right on schedule, here we go.
That doesn't mean we won't have some potential tropical moisture to contend with or that we should continue to watch the tropics for at least a couple more weeks, but it does mean the changes are now quite a bit lower than they were even a week ago.
So, pull out the sweater and gather some seasonal gourds from the supermarket. Fall lovers (and those who don't care for hurricanes) have a lot to celebrate.