Weather Week: Rain Chances Should Bring Slightly Cooler Temps This Week

As we move into August, it is time to really start watching the tropics.
As we move into August, it is time to really start watching the tropics. Photo by oddharmonic via Flickr
As we have seen over the last couple weeks, it has been hot outside. Combined with very little if any precipitation and high humidity, heat indexes have approached (and sometimes even eclipsed) 110 degrees. Additionally, nearly every day has had an ozone alert attached to it thanks to virtually no breeze and increased airborne particulates — some dust and pollen and some smog and other pollutants.

The sun may be shining, but it's generally far more pleasant inside than outside, unless you are in the pool.

The heat will persist this week, but it will moderate slightly as a front moves into the region. We should also see our first decent rain chances in a couple weeks.

Monday into Tuesday morning should be much the same as this past week. High temperatures Monday should climb into the upper 90s under sunny skies. But, a frontal boundary will sag into Texas Tuesday bringing with it an increased chance of rain, particularly later in the day. Don't be surprised if Tuesday afternoon is cloudy and rainy with a chance of a thunderstorm. The forecast is calling for a 50 percent chance of rain throughout the day Tuesday.

Things should begin to clear out overnight on Tuesday, but a chance of afternoon showers will remain through Wednesday. Thursday and Friday should be mostly clear ahead of another disturbance drifting through our area. Temperatures all three days will range from the low to mid 90s. Not a drastic change, but anything is welcome.

Watching the Tropics

The peak of hurricane season is just weeks away and the Atlantic Basin remains quiet. Sea Surface Temperatures across the Atlantic remain significantly cooler than usual and a fresh layer of Saharan dust is forecast to push off the coast of Africa this week, further inhibiting any development there for at least a week, probably a bit longer.

There are also now increasing chances of El Niño conditions arising in the Pacific, which inhibits hurricane activity in the Tropical Atlantic.

Keep in mind that despite the quiet year so far, hurricanes can come in bunches. And as we mentioned last week, the Atlantic waters may be cool for this time of year, but the Gulf of Mexico contains record heat content. Any storm that is able to spin itself up in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico has a very good chance of rapid intensification. For now, we are all clear, but the next six weeks are when we should be at our most vigilant.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke