HOUSTON - It's baaaack! The heat that is.
Now I know how the family in poltergeist felt.
The thought of heat index values exceeding 100 degrees is scary for sure. Instead of a crucifix and garlic to keep it away, you'll be searching for water, shade and A/C as late summer heat dominates the eastern U.S.
The big football games this Saturday are either out of the state or have already been played, such as the Coogs, so battling the heat in the stands won't be too much of an issue.
All week we've been talking about the possibility of another wet weekend and another 16 hour work day for yours truly -- keeping busy with getting the latest information into your hands as the storms rolled in.
The nemesis? Invest 92L. Forecast models all week were indicating that this little system in the gulf would move into Texas making for another movie weekend. I guess it preferred Cajun Gumbo over our TexMex, which is fine with me. The system is moving into Louisiana as of this entry taking most of the rain with it.
Air on the backside of a low is sinking air or subsidence which is where Houston is. When the air is sinking it's compressing and therefore heating up! Also, if the air is sinking, it's not rising and therefore it's hard for clouds to form. While I can't totally rule out a shower or thunderstorm in Houston or over one of its endless suburbs, the chance today is rather low at about 30%. I wouldn't cancel your plans over it but have a place to go just in case you find a renegade shower. Otherwise expect a hot and partly cloudy to mostly sunny day.
Sunday's weather looks even better than Saturday's as partly to mostly sunny skies are expected to continue with just a very slight chance of rain. The best chance will be along and south of I-10 -- especially to the east of Houston. Again, we can't totally rule out a stray shower locally but the biggest concentration will be to the south and east. Look for highs on Sunday again jumping into the mid 90s with just a 20% chance of a shower.
On the image above I have drawn over the height lines in red centered over Texas. Why do we care? First off, this is a 594 decameter ridge -- weather jargon for "massive ridge" -- as forecast by the GFS on Tuesday. When a meteorologist sees that sitting over the top of them, two things come to mind: it's gonna get hot and it's gonna be pretty!
Current forecast guidance calls for lower humidity, hot temperatures and clear weather heading into most of next week before the ridge builds off to the east of Texas and the not-so-hot, humid weather returns by next weekend.
Heat index values will be the big story next week as those bad boys could rise well above 100 degrees so heat precautions should certainly be taken.
How unusual is this kind of heat? Well, it's not unheard of lets say.
For those that were here during the Hurricane Rita evacuation in late September, you'll remember that temperatures soared into the upper 90s and low 100s as the hurricane darted to the east of Houston and made landfall in extreme southwestern Louisiana; a much larger scale of our weather pattern this Saturday.
The record for Saturday, the 17th is 100 degrees. If you look at the bottom of the picture, the Hurricane Rita event sticks out with a record of 100 degrees on the 27th.
It won't be too long before the heat breaks for good though. If models are right ten days out, which they hardly ever are, there will be a mighty big cold front that blasts through Houston around the 28th of the month. If and only if that were to occur, we would experience our first legit taste of Autumn. Let's hope!
(© 2016 KHOU)