High pressure brings summer's first heat wave

Weekend rain could be last soaking for awhile

By Eric Braate - Weather Executive Producer
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HOUSTON - Heavy rains over the weekend have helped to keep the drought at bay, and every tenth of an inch that we got will be needed to battle the upcoming dry, hot weather that we'll face for the foreseeable future.

As the week progresses, a strong ridge of high pressure will migrate from the Intermountain West to the South-Central U.S. and plant itself right over Texas.  High pressure is a stabilizing force in the atmosphere.  It hinders rain development and helps to elevate temperatures.  As a result, areas away from the immediate coast will face temperatures late in the week in the upper 90s.  At the coast, because of the sea breeze, temperatures will only top out in the upper 80s to mid 90s.

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that Texas is still facing widespread drought.  87 percent of the state is in some form of drought, while 33 percent faces extreme to exceptional drought.  Fortunately, southeast Texas is faring better than the rest of the state.  Having said that, though, much of the area is still in a moderate to severe drought.  Southern Matagorda County, which is dealing with extreme drought right now, is the hardest-hit part of our region. 

Over the next couple of weeks, expect drought conditions to become worse for Texas as a whole, and southeast Texas in particular, as the ridge of high pressure takes hold. 

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