Welcome Back, Hot and Dry. How Long Will It Last?

So, the rain, did you enjoy it? I think after the record-breaking drought of 2011, most Houstonians were open to some days filled with more than just the occasional pop-up thunderstorm and we got them. Virtually every day for the last three weeks, we've had some rain in the area and, as a result, very little worry the drought will return.

Houston may have been named America's coolest city by Forbes, but the next six weeks will prove that to be something of an ironic statement as we move into the hottest days of the entire year. August and September can be ruthless around these parts and this summer should be about the same, though nothing like the endless string of 100-degree days last year.

Additionally, we are entering the most active part of hurricane season, so yay!

We will get a chance to dry out this week with temperatures in the mid-90s and partly cloudy skies. There's always a chance of a little rain as the afternoon heating mixes with warm Gulf air, but a high pressure system in the area should ward off most of the more heavy thunderstorms for now.

As August progresses, the slightly cooler than normal temperatures (still in the 90s, but not 100s, which is something) should persist and the rain will likely return. As predicted, sea surface temperatures in the Pacific have been above average, signaling the onset of an El Niño event, which generally serves to inhibit the growth of Atlantic hurricanes. It also tends to cause our weather to be cooler and wetter, something we've seen already in July, and that promises to continue throughout the end of the year.

Still, with August and September being the most fertile time for hurricane development, the Gulf, Caribbean and Atlantic bear watching for the next six to eight weeks. After that, the first cool fronts of the year -- can you believe it? -- begin pushing through the area and diminishing our tropical weather chances exponentially.

For now, stay cool and enjoy the summer!

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