Welcome to the thirty-second week of 2019. The weather over the weekend was somewhat unsettled with those popup thunderstorms both days. That will be the case again this afternoon across the eastern half of Texas. Organized severe thunderstorms are not expected, but a few stronger storms are certainly possible. Those stronger storms could produce localized wind gusts over 50 MPH, heavy rain, and deadly cloud to ground lightning. All storms produce dangerous lightning.
Besides a few lucky folks getting some much-needed rain we’ll also have the added benefit of lower temperatures. Those who get lucky with a shower will have temperatures fall back into the 70s. Increased cloud cover today will also help keep temperatures down a few degrees. Enjoy it because today will likely be the ‘coolest’ day of the week. Remember last week when I warned we might start counting the 100 degree days this week? Yeah, that’s going to happen beginning mid-week.
The reason we had somewhat cooler temperatures and those popup showers over the weekend was thanks to a weak northerly flow aloft. That occurred because the upper-level high pressure (heat dome) shifted to west to Arizona. It is going to shift back east over the next two days. Wednesday onward will have that high sitting smack on top of Texas. The high pressure causes subsidence, or sinking air, which will shut down rain chances and ramp up the thermostat. Just compare the upper-air chart taken last night to the forecast one later this week (graphics below). Notice how that mean heat dome sets up right over us?
Above-average temperatures, both during the day and at night, are expected for the end of the workweek and heading into the weekend. Temperatures during the day will likely make it above 100 degrees across the eastern half of Texas. We may even make a run at the century mark in Houston. The ‘feel like’ temperature, known as the heat index, will easily make it above 105 degrees. Some locations may have heat index values of 110 to 115 degrees by Friday and Saturday. Actual air temperatures across the Big Country and Northwest Texas could make it into the 105-108 degree range during that same timeframe. Not only will it be very hot, but we may have this high stick around for a while. That means we’ll get to start counting those consecutive 100 degree days. Hopefully, that upper-level high will shift a bit west next week. That would allow temperatures to at least drop a few degrees, but that just optimistic at this point. It’s August in Texas baby! I feel like there’s a song out there for that…