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Weather forecast for Houston Texas and vicinity, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Major spring storm taking shape over the central and eastern Pacific Ocean
Major spring storm taking shape over the central and eastern Pacific Ocean
NASA

Discussion

To some extent, this weather forecast is about waiting; for expected rises in temperature and relative humidity, as well as potential for important rainfall to occur. It is extremely doubtful than any serious rains will occur in most of Texas before March 21. That is, if you believe the numerical models, which are very bearish about the prospects for moisture through the rest of the month. There is some chance, however, that a wetter scenario may emerge next week.

Part of the reason I am slightly more optimistic about the odds on increasing precipitation deals with a look at the GOES WEST satellite image. There is a strong synoptic scale disturbance between Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands. This feature has energy and moisture sources from two realms. One, an equatorial breach near the International Dateline, and two an established subtropical jet stream. The storm complex will move into California and Oregon, then weaken somewhat crossing the Intermountain Region this coming weekend. While the GFS and ECMWF models are not favoring a healthy moisture inflow from the Gulf of Mexico (instead leaning toward a very capped atmosphere with virtually no rain below Interstate 20 and west of Dallas), there seems to be a fair chance that the entire trough carrying the low pressure area will deepen enough to interact with the southern branch moisture feed. If so, then some showers and thunderstorms could visit Houston on and just after St. Patrick's Day.

In the meantime, enjoy the cool nights as warmth, and higher surface dewpoints, return this weekend.

Useful Links
NOAA's National Weather Service
Storm Prediction Center
National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center

The Forecast

Tuesday: Sunny and mild. Highs 66 Kountze to 70 Brazoria

Tuesday Night: Clear and cool. Lows 43 Batson to 47 East Columbia

Wednesday: Sunny and mild. Highs 65 Hull to 69 West Columbia

Wednesday Night: Clear and cool. Lows 42 Liberty to 46 Guy

Thursday: Sunny and a bit warmer. Highs 70 Dayton to 74 Wharton

Weekend Forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, breezy and warmer. High 78, Low 50

Saturday: Partly sunny, breezy and warmer. High 82, Low 58

Sunday: Variable cloudiness, breezy, warm and humid with a few sprinkles or showers. High 85, Low 67

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