In Houston, we accept weather trade offs. We accept the humidity and heat in the summer in exchange for stellar winter weather. While others are shoveling snow, we're running around in shorts. We also accept the rain because it is great for our local plant life and the steam that comes afterward keeps us looking young...or at least that is what we tell ourselves.
This weekend will be another one of those willing exchanges. There will be plenty of rain in the area, but at least it won't be a triple-digit scorcher.
First, a quick recap. The first half of the week was fairly typical for summer weather in Houston. Highs were in the low to mid 90s with scattered afternoon showers and the occasional thunderstorm. Released from high pressure that dominated us recently, afternoon sea breezes brought tropical moisture into our area, which led to some moderate rainfall. Most days we didn't see much of anything but an isolated shower and still plenty of sun.
That trend will continue Thursday, but a change comes on Friday and into Saturday. Rain chances increase on both days to around 50 percent. It probably won't be a washout and we aren't expecting any heavy precipitation, but there's a better chance you'll see some rain to start the weekend than earlier in the week.
By Sunday, things will let up a bit and be more like most of this work week with 20 to 30 percent chances of rain and some scattered clouds.
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The good news is all weekend, thanks to the rain and clouds, temperatures will remain in the low 90s, maybe even right around 90 degrees. For August, that's like an early season cool front. It won't last as high pressure begins to reassert itself, but we can worry about that next week.
Watching the Tropics
Tropical Storm Debby became the fourth named storm of the season on Wednesday. Out over the north-central Atlantic, it poses no threat to land as it moves harmlessly northeast. Beyond that, the tropical Atlantic is remarkably quiet. As we discussed last week, dry air and abnormally cool sea surface temperatures across the "Main Development Region (MDR)" — an area deep in the central Atlantic just north of the equator — are tamping down any threats. And high wind shear throughout the Caribbean is mitigating the impacts of warm seas in that region.
The Gulf of Mexico remains extremely warm, so any activity that might develop there has a chance to blossom, but there is nothing on any of the forecast models to indicate any activity for the next ten days or so. Given that we are in midst of the busiest portion of hurricane season, that bodes well, at least for now.