Update: As a few kind folks have pointed out, Hurricane Jerry actually struck the Texas coast in mid-October 1989 as a minimal category one hurricane. It is the only hurricane to strike the Texas coastline after October 1 ever recorded.
Sitting in the middle of the busiest part of hurricane season, it feels like the end is a pretty good distance away. The statistical peak of hurricane season is September 10, but the season doesn't officially end until December 1. Waters in the tropical Atlantic can stay warm enough to support tropical storms well into the fall.
So, what about Texas? For those who grew up along the Texas coast, we recognize the rules for hurricane season are a little different. The peak of the season, like the rest of the Atlantic, is between mid-August and mid-September. But, while other parts of the Atlantic Basin remain active for weeks after that, there is a rapid decline for the Texas coastline.
In fact, no hurricane has ever made landfall in Texas after September 23. The closest we ever came was Hurricane Rita in 2005 (remember the storm where the traffic killed more people than the weather?). It made landfall on September 24 just across the border in Louisiana. Beyond that, only three hurricanes have struck the Texas coast on or after September 20: Beulah (September 20, 1967), Unnamed category 2 hurricane (September 21, 1887) and Unnamed category 3 hurricane (September 23, 1941).
We have had a handful of tropical storms threaten the coastline in later September and even October, but it's rare, much like the hurricanes. The reason is we typically get our first blast of cool autumn air the second or third week of September, which both cools down the region (including the Gulf) and tends to steer storms north and east.
While there are no big cold fronts on the immediate horizon, there are hints on forecast models of our first legitimate norther in about two weeks. That is still a LONG way out from a forecasting perspective, but the timing is appropriate considering the climatology of the region.
Regardless, the practical end to hurricane season for Texas is after that first cold front or right around September 24, whichever comes first. That still leaves just under three weeks of watching the tropics and keeping our fingers crossed for cooler weather. It could be worse. It could be July.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.