No 100 degrees? That’s so NOT this century!


We know it gets hot around here and so for us not to reach 100F this year is certainly worth a mention. Of course, as you’ll see, we can easily get to the century mark in September so don’t get too comfortable in your wool sweaters just yet! Also, Hobby did record 100 in June and Galveston made 97 just this past Monday which is their hottest temperature so far this year.

Here’s a quick rundown of the hot moments we’ve had:

We'll take a cooler summer when we can get it!

As you can see above, our official IAH/BUSH reporting station reached 99F once in June, once in July and once in August (yesterday). Hobby Airport’s 100F showed up on June 13th.

So what’s going on?

Part of the answer is the upper air pattern. I show that below and the first map is from June 13 when IAH hit 99 and HOU hit 100. That high pressure system is right over our part of the U.S. and we were all baking under it....that is when Phoenix reached 113F and soared to 118F by June 17. So it’s no wonder we went to 99 and 100 during the same period.

HIGH pressure right over us on June 13th courtesy the Weather Prediction Center

But you’ll recall the massive and deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in late June as Spokane, for example, saw an all-time record 109 on June 29. That is when the high shifts north while low pressure settles closer to us:

High moves away--map courtesy of the Weather Prediction Center

High pressure in the summertime means clear skies (full sunshine), calm winds (little wind to bring cool air from above to the surface, and sinking air - you need rising air for showers and cooling rains). High pressure also means the air is, literally, heavier and compresses at the surface of the earth and when you compress air you heat it up! Low pressure on the other hand sets the stage for cooling showers and cloud cover. So that helped a lot with our cooler and rainier weather in June and much of July.

How rare is a summer without 100?

Take a look at this chart from the National Weather Service showing high temperatures for each month at IAH/BUSH from the year 2000 to now. Only 2014 did not have temperatures reach 100! (And I’ve highlighted 2011 -- our drought year -- when we couldn’t get away from those darn 100s!):

Only 2014 and 2021 (so far) did not recorded an official 100

And also take note that in 2000 we first set our all-time record high of 109F in SEPTEMBER! So we aren’t out of the hot woods just yet! Meteorologically, summer is June-July-August. WELCOME TO FALL!!


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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.