Even I was surprised when I tallied the numbers for July weather in Houston. You've probably heard about the record-breaking heat that has gripped most of the nation this month - not the case in the Bayou City. Instead, those waterways filled up and overflowed in some cases thanks to regular rainfall which also led to a milder month.
The average high temperature at Bush airport was 90.9°, nearly 4 degrees below the typical average high of 94.7°. Morning lows were tolerable as well, averaging what they should in July - 75°. No records were set and we didn't reach triple digits. We only saw the high temperature rise above 95° eight times, the lowest in five years.
We had more than our fair share of rain, with Bush recording 4.71" for the month, .92" above normal and Hobby a whopping 8.15", which is almost 3 and a half inches above normal.
But the following pictures really show how different July 2012 was compared to just a year ago. They come courtesy of the Harris County Flood Control District's Jeff Lindner. They show the rainfall for the month at the various bayou gauges around the county. First, July 2011:
Now, compare that to this July:
There are some staggering differences! At the gauge location over the "H" in Houston, July 2012 shows 10.68"; it was 2.48" the year before.
So, can we look forward to the same trend in August? Not likely. The the bubble of high pressure that bakes everything beneath it began to return this week and only slight nudges westward or northward will open the door for Gulf moisture to return and spark storms. According to the Climate Prediction Center, we'll see "normal" temperature and rainfall for August. Average high is 94.5°, average low is 74.8° and we typically get 3.76" of rain.
Actually, in a way, we need the bubble over us to protect us from tropical storms. So, in a way, a hot rest of the summer might be worth it if we're spared a Gulf storm...