What to know about the heat, the cold and the hurricane

courtesy the Farmer's Almanac

You may have heard that the July Fry affected the WHOLE world last month! July 2021 ranks as the HOTTEST MONTH on record across the globe, according to NOAA’s most recent report.

July usually comes in as the hottest month but this July baked the globe and 2021 will likely fall in the Top 10 of warmest years on record. In a roasted nutshell, NOAA’s report found:

July 2021 by the numbers

  • Around the globe: the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago. It was 0.02 of a degree F (0.01 of a degree C) higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.
  • The Northern Hemisphere: the land-surface only temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, at an unprecedented 2.77 degrees F (1.54 degrees C) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2012.
  • Regional records: Asia had its hottest July on record, besting the previous record set in 2010; Europe had its second-hottest July on record—tying with July 2010 and trailing behind July 2018; and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July.

So what about our heat?

I did a little data dive and, most likely because of clouds and rain, Southeast Texas did not get as hot as usual in July. Here’s a look at our highest temperatures for the month:

courtesy NWS Houston

And you’ll notice we didn’t even reach 100° (although we will next week). In addition, if you look at the AVERAGE July temps derived from the LOW and HIGH together, we were about normal or even a bit below:

courtesy NWS Houston

Get ready for high pressure to build in this weekend which heats us up, but also keeps Hurricane Grace away.

Grace Satellite courtesy NOAA NHC

GRACE WILL BE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK

Right now Grace is expected to strike the Yucatan Peninsula and then again the Mexico mainland as an 85 mph hurricane.

courtesy NOAA

One may think that doesn’t sound like a lot versus 75 mph. But that 10 mph makes a big difference in terms of total destructive force: surge, flooding, rainfall, tornadoes. Take a look at this chart:

This accounts for all damage potential--wind, surge, rainfall, tornadoes

As you can see above, an 85mph hurricane causes 2.9X or almost THREE TIMES as much damage and destruction as a 75mph hurricane. And if this gets even stronger, which is possible, the damage only gets worse. Check out the chart here from the National Weather Service and don’t ask me how they misspelled ‘category’. My point is that it doesn’t take a huge uptick in wind speed to cause bigger problems. Keep that in mind when it’s our turn.

And what about the cold?

A viewer pointed out this from the Farmer’s Almanac which claims it predicted last February’s arctic outbreak in Texas:

from FarmersAlmanac.com

Upon further reading, the Farmer’s Almanac extended winter forecast predicts yet another very cold spell for Texas toward the end of next January. Correct or not, their best advice is “be prepared.” So true.

Have a good Wednesday and watch for storms!

Frank

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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.