Just as the summer season comes to an unofficial end this Labor Day weekend, we're faced with a mini heat wave that reminds us that we do, after all, live in Houston. The summer of 2013 has been warmer-than-normal, so it seems appropriate that we close the season out with a sizzle!
As for Houston summer weather, we've definitely suffered hotter. We've been only slightly warmer than normal this season. The summer of 2011 goes down as the areas hottest on record, with 46 days of 100 degree heat at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. This year, the airport only witnessed 5 days above 100 degrees, which is much closer to the normal 4 days above the century mark. College Station experienced the hottest summer, with 28 100 degree days so far.
As far as rainfall goes, the summer was predictably dry, following the trend of the past several years. So far in 2013, Bush Intercontinental Airport has a 10 inch rainfall deficit. Calculating back to 2008, the deficit grows to 53 inches.
The long-term dry spell is the reason why we can't seem to recover from our long-standing drought. While we keep getting bouts of rain, the cumulative totals don't begin to fill the hole we're in. So, this Labor Day weekend we find nearly all of southeast Texas in at least a moderate to severe drought. 88 percent of the entire state of Texas is experiencing drought with 19 percent in an extreme or exceptional drought.