Incredibly, our historical drought and heat is about to get…worse?
The WRF model, with decent support from both the RGEM and GFS schemes, suggests that near term temperatures will climb to unprecedented levels, perhaps with a few locations in Southeast Texas getting very near the all-time high of 109 degrees F. I will not stick my neck that far out, but I have to be candid when I say that the power and longevity of this heat ridge is such that perhaps we are indeed due for an expansion, with the ridging stretching as far east as Georgia and South Carolina and as far north as the Dakotas between now and August 27.
So extreme heat with haze and humidity is a given for Houston. But if you look at trends of the computer models, you can see that a tendency for retrogression will exist every few days over the next two weeks. Note that on August 23, the core of the subtropical high is all the way beck to the “Four Corners” vicinity. So while the Bayou City is still dealing with intense heat, the surface moisture layer will dwindle on a downslope west-northwest flow.
The possibility for a real shift to cooler and wetter conditions exists starting Labor Day weekend. Most of the numerical models suggest that an important hurricane will make landfall somewhere in the Southeast. If the scenario I believe will occur unfolds, this powerful gyre will help to carve a broad 500MB weakness over the eastern half of the U.S. Such a discontinuity should allow both deep tropical moisture to move north from the Gulf of Mexico (and for all we know, a disturbance of some kind as well), and cold fronts to drop down from the Upper Midwest. That is a recipe for heavy to severe thunderstorms with near normal rainfall amounts in the Lone Star State.
But it is a long way there, and we have to sit and wait for rescue from the “Heat and Drought Of 2011”.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, hazy, very hot and humid. Highs 101 Santa Fe to 105 Magnolia
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, warm, and humid. Risk of a brief shower or thunderstorm late. Lows 76 Macedonia to 80 Alvin
Friday: Sunny, very hot and humid. Record high temperatures of 102 Iowa Colony to 106 Pinehurst
Friday Night: Mostly fair, warm, and humid. Lows 78 Rose Hill to 82 Manvel
Saturday: Mostly sunny, very hot and humid. Highs 99 Arcola to 103 Tomball
Sunday: Partly sunny, very hot and humid. Risk of a brief afternoon thunderstorm. High 100, Low 80
Monday: Mostly sunny, very hot and humid. High 101, Low 79
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, very hot but not as humid. High 102, Low 81