August Updated Hurricane Outlook Downgraded Slightly

We do not need any of this.
We do not need any of this. Photo by Brandon Navarro
On Sunday afternoon, the skies opened up and portions of the city near downtown and just north received rains like we hadn't seen in weeks. Drought conditions, which have plagued the entire state of Texas, at least for an hour or so, felt far off in the distance. Less than an inch of rain fell, but it may as well have been a flood compared to what we've had this summer.

It might make you tempted to wish for tropical weather, something that is often at the end of a drought. If you are one of those people, you're in luck because we have entered the peak of hurricane season. Granted, no one wants another Harvey or worse, but a small depression that drops five or six inches of rain over three or four days?

The best hurricane forecasters in the business are at Colorado State University. Each year, they come out with their predictions for hurricane season and revise them every month during hurricane season. Their early August update included a very slight downgrade to the current season but keeps it well above average for hurricane seasons past.

They are now forecasting 18 named storms (we have had three thus far) including eight hurricanes, four of which could be major category three or stronger storms. That is still well above the 14 storm average.

Even though we've only had three named storms, this year has been pretty normal even for a predicted busy season. Most hurricanes occur between mid August and mid October, plenty of time for a dozen or more storms to flare up.

For the state of Texas and its coastline, hurricane season tends to come to a close a bit earlier — typically in late September when the first fall cool fronts make their way through. The climatological conditions begin to change fairly rapidly at that point. That leaves us with roughly six week of hurricane season left for our area.

Of course, it only takes one storm to ruin a season, so now is a good time to pay attention. In six or seven weeks, we can start to ease into fall and leave this behind. For now, don't let your guard down. We still have a ways to go.
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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