Long Strange Trip: Summer Finally Is Over, Enjoy It

Well, Houston, your long, regional nightmare is finally over. If you haven't made it outside lately, then you wouldn't realize it, but we have finally felt real fall weather here in the Bayou City and not a moment too soon. We've broken so many records for heat and drought this summer, it's hard to remember them all. Suffice it to say, it was dry and hot, drier and hotter, in fact, than ever recorded; and, well, it sucked.

While the drought part of the weather still hasn't abandoned us, the heat certainly has as our first substantial cold front of the season pushed through Tuesday morning, giving way to temperatures 10 to 20 degrees cooler than last week and a whopping 30 to 40 degrees cooler than last month. Nighttime temperatures have also dropped significantly, with overnight lows now in the 40s throughout much of the area. That's a welcome relief from the 80-degree nights we had in September.

The good news is that this pattern of gradual warming followed by a cool or cold front will continue throughout the winter. The bad news is, apparently, so will the lack of rain. The three-plus inches we got a couple weeks ago helped -- I couldn't remember the last time we had that kind of soaking -- but it barely put a dent in the horrid drought conditions stifling the entire region. We'll need a dozen more days like that one to get back to normal and those days aren't coming anytime soon. In fact, with our current breezy conditions, a red flag warning is in effect throughout the state warning of potential wildfires.

Fortunately, we'll have this killer fall weather to keep us company. One of the best things about Houston is when a good portion of the country is moaning and groaning that summer is over, we are dancing in the streets (sometimes literally) for the phenomenal weather that awaits us between October and April.

And if you like the cooler weather, you're in luck. Long-range forecasts show nary an upper-80-degree day in sight with highs mostly in the 70s and lows mostly in the 50s. We have a slight chance of rain toward the end of next week, but don't hold your breath. So, enjoy this weather, Houston. You've earned it.

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