Many places have nice weather much of the year. If you feel like it’s either feast or famine when it comes to rain and other weather events, you might be from Texas.
Scattered showers, that’s all
Have you ever checked the local weather report or watched your local news and saw you had a slight chance of scattered showers in your area? Most people don’t think too much about that or feel the need to prepare for it. Well, here in Southeast Texas, that often means we won’t see a drop or we could have several inches of rain dumped on us in a very short time, creating flash flooding.
Growing up here and having lived through many extreme weather events, there’s really not much that surprises me about the weather anymore. Weather is hard to predict for any meteorologist anywhere, but weather on the Texas coast can drive a meteorologist crazy.
Keep an Eye on the Tropics
June 1st marked the beginning of Hurricane Season. Texans living near the coast are always checking on the tropics. Tropical storms and hurricanes have caused a lot of damage over the years. Heck, even tropical depressions or disturbances can wreak havoc on us with incessant rainfall.
Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 dumped more rainfall on Southeast Texas than any other storm up to that point and held records until Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Harvey dumped 60 inches in some areas and destroyed thousands of homes, including mine. But that’s another story.
Weather geeks like myself spend a lot of time watching weather models when there’s a potential disturbance out there. Where will it go? How strong will it be? Will it be “just” a rainmaker? Weather is a fascinating subject as it is so unpredictable. Even with today’s technology and all the models to help forecasters predict it, it’s impossible to get it exactly right. Mother Nature truly does have a mind of her own.
‘Tis the Season to be Freezin’
Ok. I live in Southeast Texas. I get it. But it DOES get cold here. REAL cold. At least by this Texan’s standards. Every winter, I can’t wait for spring to get here! Cold is a relative term. But when the temperature falls below 70, it’s time for a jacket. 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s… oh my!
I don’t think most Texans, or at least Southeast Texans, find 20s or 30s comfortable. Now Amarillo, that’s a different story. Amarillo is worlds away from us and like another state, as far as the weather goes.
We don’t get snow every winter. We might not see snow for years. And then we might see measurable snow multiple times in one winter, as we did in 2017-2018.
We might even have a white Christmas, as we did in 2004. But it’s much more likely that we’re decking the halls in shorts and flip-flops. Yep. I have spent many Christmas Eves doing some last minute shopping in shorts, with the top down. It’s very common to have your heater on at night and in the morning, and then have to turn on the air conditioner in the afternoon. Very common!
Some Like it Hot
It goes without saying that it gets hot in Texas. Not hot like you shed your blazer or shawl, but hot like you feel like your body may spontaneously combust. Hot like you literally can’t walk from your front door to your car without sweating. Hot like you can actually fry eggs on the sidewalk. I’m serious. I wouldn’t eat them, but it can be done.
I always try to remind myself how I couldn’t wait for warmer weather when I was freezing my tootsies off in the winter. It sometimes helps. My thermometer has gone as high as “Are you kidding me?”
But it’s a dry heat… not. The humidity is usually quite high in Southeast Texas. When you take high temperatures and high humidity, it can literally feel like a sauna outside and you will instantly sweat when you walk outside. Instantly. Your body doesn’t adjust to it. You may get used to it because you come to expect it, but hot and miserable is hot and miserable, I don’t care who you are. I’ve been to many other places that get hot, but have relatively low humidity. Sure it’s hot, but you don’t feel like you’re melting.
Weather on the Texas coast tends to go from one extreme to the other. And it changes a lot! Most people take predictions with a grain of salt and know that the weather will do what it wants to do. Torrential rains, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, snow events, high temperatures, freezes… the Texas coast sees it all. And with that said, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. There’s no place like home.