Reading or watching any media outside Houston, you might think that there were no buildings left standing, that thousands had died and we were all currently dog paddling to simply keep from drowning in toxic water. Then you look around and realize things are okay. Yes, devastation is widespread and the recovery will be long and slow, but the city has survived and will turn it around, as always.
Yet questions from perplexed outsiders persist. Why didn't they evacuate? Why don't they have zoning? Why aren't they all wearing cowboy boots? Why are they so damn upbeat?
The simple fact is no one here is happy about what happened. We just aren't miserable. Unlike the overly simplistic black-and-white narrative of the national media, so often delivered with the delicacy of a sledgehammer, we Houstonians understand good can often come out of bad, and things don't always work out the way we want. We have to slog through muddy water, but there's a neighbor we've never met there to offer a hand and a warm place to rest.
Houston weather is no different. We get tropical deluges and hot, humid summers, but then comes the winter, which finds us sipping frozen margaritas on a patio while our friends up north shovel snow. It's not exactly a fair tradeoff, but it could be worse. In fact, "it could be worse" feels a bit like a mantra for Houstonians, which brings us to some good news on the horizon...and perhaps a small concern.
Thanks to Harvey (there's that good inside the bad thing again), we have had an extremely pleasant couple of days post-storm. Because of the storm's counterclockwise rotation, it has driven some very dry, breezy conditions into the entire area, not only giving us a much-needed break from the heat and humidity, but helping to push water out of those bloated bayous.
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As we move into the holiday weekend — raise your hand if you forgot Monday was Labor Day — the weather looks pretty nice. Highs will be back up into the low 90s, but it won't be overly humid and sunshine will abound. That's where things get a tad dicey, but don't freak out. Storm-inflicted PTSD is real, you guys.
Early next week, we should see a little tropical moisture in the form of a low pressure system now over the Bay of Campeche. But, never fear, forecast models continue to downplay its emergence as anything other than a small area of disturbed weather and if we get any rain, it won't be much. Certainly we can handle a couple of inches over a few days after what we just went through, right?
Additionally, a cool front is going to sweep into Texas midweek. Yes, an actual cool front in early September in Houston. It's not exactly unprecedented, but not something we might normally expect either. Hey, we'll take it! By Thursday, highs will be in the low 80s, with some forecasts calling for lows in the upper 50s by late next week. That's a remarkable change considering where we were just a few days ago.
And, in case you were wondering, yes, there is another hurricane out there (and another one likely just behind it), named Irma. It is already quite a powerful storm and is forecast to increase in strength, but it is a LONG way out and unlikely to affect us. So, don't worry about it. Enjoy some fine weather this weekend and keep smiling. It confuses the outsiders.