Weather Blog: Ahhh-ctober, the month of transition

HOUSTON - Welcome to "Ahhh-ctober." It's the big month of transition from swimming pools and sizzling temperatures to walks in the park and endless chatter about how beautiful the weather is and how great it feels.

October, like any month, has given way to extreme weather here in southeast Texas spanning the spectrum from hurricanes to floods to icy cold weather.

This is the month when those ''severe clear,'' sapphire blue skies dominate our weather as the first strong Canadian cold fronts arrive on the gulf coast and clear out everything but your loud-mouth neighbors.

In case you haven't noticed, the days are getting short -- like really short but not quite Danny DeVito short. With the days growing shorter and the sun angle becoming very low, our average high temperatures are steadily dropping.

On October 1st, our average high is 86 degrees. By Halloween, it's down to 78 degrees. Similarly, our overnight lows are also tanking with the average dropping eight degrees from 65 to 57.

Temperatures can be extreme on either end. High temperatures have climbed to near 100 degrees and have plunged as low as 29 degrees on Halloween night 1993 -- a night I remember very well.

While the Texas hurricane season is generally considered an afterthought by now, hurricanes have been known to sneak in from time to time with the last Texas hurricane being Jerry taking direct aim at Galveston in 1989.

Speaking of hurricanes, devastating floods have been caused by east Pacific hurricanes that have gotten tangled up in stalled out fronts that have set up shop over the city. Anybody remember the 1994 flood? I do. I went down Rayford Rd. in south Montgomery county in a boat and I remember seeing water lapping at the second story windows of apartment buildings.

We have Hurricane Rosa to thank for that as its moisture got rung out over the northern parts of the city -- some 20+ inches of it.

So floods are possible, especially when a front gets tangled up with Pacific moisture.

Overall, the month of October is the beginning of a long stretch of fabulous weather along our shores. Sure, there are hiccups from time to time but overall, aside from turning another year older, it's my favorite month of the year.

 

(© 2016 KHOU)


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