HOUSTON - If you're hoping for cooler times ahead, you may be in luck because a big cold front blows-in Monday. But, forecasting its impacts is never that simple during the transition weeks between summer and fall here in Texas.
Even in 2016, long-range 7 to 10 day forecasts are inherently inaccurate. We're pretty good through day 3 into the future, but by day 5 we're only ballpark and by day 7 it's basically speculation. Anything beyond is story telling.
I first started tracking our season's first cold front 7 days out. Back then -- on Monday -- it appeared that next week's front would indeed, clear the area and result in sunshine, low humidity and 75°-80° temperatures with lows in the 50s and 60s. Cut and dry. Now that we're 4 days away, it's all coming into better focus and it appears that it may not totally clear the area. While I do see it becoming noticeably cooler, we'll probably see much more rain, and possible flooding. Then again, the front may indeed, clear the area yielding beautiful autumn conditions midweek. Time will tell and the forecast is far from set in stone.
Let's talk about the rain potential. Tropical moisture atop our region may be focused by the cold front, resulting in a widespread 3"-5" in many locations. A few spots could pick up over 8". If that superlative scenario becomes a reality, flash flooding could result. We are in the Bayou City and Houston's flood history runs deeper than the murky waters that flood our streets several times per year, so this potential needs to be mentioned.
Stay close to the forecast because we're still four days out. It will inevitably need to be adjusted. As of this afternoon, here's how I see it unfolding.
Finally, hurricane season isn't done yet and sometimes as these early cold fronts work into the Gulf where they can spin-up tropical systems with little warning. One fairly reliable computer model is throwing out that possibility. It's highly unlikely, but if it happened would result in huge rainfall totals wherever it tracks, or worse.