Thursday, June 25, 2009

Houston heat emergency declared amid record temps

Houston’s relentless heat wave prompted the National Weather Service today to declare a “Heat Emergency,” a designation that air temperature and humidity is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.

The emergency designation is expected to last through Friday, said Houston health department spokeswoman Kathy Barton.

Barton said the health department has accordingly invoked its heat emergency plan, which involves working with Metro to bring people to designated cooling centers, such as libraries, and generally urging people to take extra precautions to stay inside.

It is not uncommon for the weather service to declare a heat emergency in Houston, though it didn’t happen last summer. Such an emergency is declared when the heat index, a computation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two more consecutive days.

The index reached 108 Wednesday and is expected to reach that level today and Friday. Houston's actual temperature hit 104 degrees Wednesday, the hottest it's ever gotten in June.

State electric regulators, meanwhile, will consider a request by consumer groups and a Houston lawmaker for an immediate ban on electric service disconnects because of the continuing heat wave.

The abnormally severe heat -- yes, even for Houston -- is not expected to abate through the next 10 days or more, according to the National Weather Service.

"Today and tomorrow both, we have the potential to set records," said Matt Moreland, a weather-service meteorologist.

A high pressure area, which more common in July and August, has parked over most of the state for weeks. It has prevented rainshowers from reaching the area, plunging Houston into a moderate drought and keeping the official weather service rain gauge at Bush Intercontinental Airport from getting measurable precipitation all month.

High temperaures Friday and through the weekend and much of next week are predicted to be near triple digits, and overnight lows will be near 80 degrees. Isolated showers are possible, but no major rain systems are expected to move into the area.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

104-degree day sets record

And how about some rain? Houston's still waiting for it

The temperature in Houston on Wednesday reached a ridiculously hot 104 degrees, easily eclipsing the previous high for the day which was 99 three decades ago. The last time it was this hot in June was, well, actually never.

The previous hottest day for this month was 103 degrees on June 30, 1980. This has been the seventh hottest June in recorded history.

Don’t expect much relief in coming days. Thursday’s high is expected to be around 101 although some isolated showers could provide a break from the heat, the National Weather Service said.

But while Houstonians tried to beat the heat by desperately secluding themselves indoors, meteorologists are used to the area’s wild weather.

“When people talk to me, most just want to know when it’s going to end,” said Brian Kyle, a Weather Service meteorologist in Dickinson who said it was just another day at the office for him. “It’s summer, and it’s hot and sometimes records occur.”

After Wednesday, Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport will have gone 31 straight days without rain. The longest period without measurable rain was from January to February 1904 when Houston went 40 days without the wet stuff, according to the Weather Service.



June 24, 2009, 7:14PM

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Slim rain chance enters long-term Houston forecast

Sorry to post local weather conditions, but as I feared, the Houston summer has put a dead stop to any geocaching for us. - Marc

A slim chance of rain may be possible next week as a high pressure area that has blocked thunderstorms from hitting Houston moves away.

But the rain chances remain very slight, according to the National Weather Service.

Today and the next 10 days are expected to be dry with high temperatures near triple digits and the lows in the mid to upper 70s under sunny skies.

But the weather pattern that has allowed the mercury to rise for nearly two weeks and brought near drought conditions to the Houston area could change in the middle of next week, said Scott Overpeck, a weather service meteorologist.

Overpeck said a dome of high pressure over much of Texas has kept rain storms away from Houston, but there’s a slight chance it may move toward the west.

“That would be a window to allow some rain to come in,” Overpeck said. “I wouldn’t put too much stock in that.”

Houston’s weather is in contrast to much of the rest of the country. The east and west U.S. coasts have been cooler than normal, spring storms have continued to rake the nation’s midsection, Chicago is having a record cool June so far and some Midwestern crops are struggling to grow in too-low temperatures.

Overpeck said the drought that has parched southwestern Texas may soon find a foothold in the Houston area if no rain arrives.

So far in June, the area has recorded a trace of rainfall, which is about 2.5 inches below normal for the period. For the year, the area is about four inches below normal.

Overpeck said Houston is experiencing a typical July weather pattern that arrived a month early, but it’s not uncommon for Houston to have a scorching June.

“It’s summertime,” he said.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Damaging storms battered North Texas overnight and drifted southeast, but fell apart before providing any relief to the even-hotter-than-normal Houston area.

As for the Houston area, National Weather Service forecasters see more of the same ahead. The high temperature is expected reach into the high 90s today, and with humid air blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico, heat index readings should be in triple-digits.

The forecast doesn’t change through next Wednesday: Highs in the upper 90s, overnight lows in the mid-70s and heat index readings easily over 100 degrees.

In fact, Sunday through Wednesday, the heat index is forecast to approach the 109-degree mark.

The heat index is a measure of what heat feels like once humidity is factored in.

There's nothing new about summertime heat in Houston, but normal high temperatures are around 90 degrees this time of year, several degrees below forecast highs for the next week.

No rain is forecast over the next week for the immediate Houston area, continuing several weeks of unseasonably dry weather that began in April.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm here...

I just haven't had a chance to make any posts. I haven't found a geocache in almost a month now.

And I have been to Corpus Christi twice in the past two weeks but I had no time to go geocaching.

There has been some really hot and humid weather and there has been some pleasant weather as well in the past month but I wasn't able to take advantage of the latter.

Now that it is June in Houston, the pleasant weather is gone for the next 4 months.

I have been going to the other blogger's sites and reading their updates. I do have a post to write about missing caches, I just need to find the time.

Thank you for visiting and I'll post when I can.