I spent a long time planning this article in my head, as I wanted to give an unbiased opinion of my beloved Katy. But after thinking about the content for constantly for days at a time, I realized that I was kidding myself. Katy is a part of my soul; there is something so unique about the area that I live in, that it would be impossible for me to write an entirely unbiased article about it.
I wanted to say that at the start of this article as full disclosure. If and when you decide to move to our wonderful city, be prepared to feel the same. Katy seeps into your soul, grabs hold and won’t let go. It is hard to put into words just how amazing Katy is but be prepared to find a new place to call home.
The Katy Weather
The weather in Katy is exceptional, and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on long sleeve shirts, because frankly, you won’t need them. With over 204 days every year of beautiful sunshine, Katy can give you experiences unlike anywhere else on earth. On the downside air conditioning is a necessity rather than a luxury, but nothing can beat watching the sunset sitting on your balcony in a T-shirt in January. Let’s have a closer look at what you can expect during the four seasons of the year.
Spring is possibly my favorite time of the year. The plants are starting to bloom, and the lovely sunny days are warm without being overly hot averaging somewhere in the region of 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity is not as severe as the summer, although be prepared to experience the occasional spring thunderstorm. These storms are beneficial as the rains get the infamous ten-month growing season off to a fantastic start. April is also the time when many of our insects and animals return, and it is not unusual to see some stunning butterflies.
Moving into the summer months, the thermostat gets turned up to the max. Extremely hot and humid, daily, you can easily live in shorts and a t-shirt. The humidity is excellent for anyone that suffers from dry skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, but make sure your air con is working at home and in your vehicle, you will need it. Temperatures regularly average around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and four or five days of the summer, temperatures will break the 100-degree mark. This weather makes for long sunny, fun-filled evenings, barbecues and entertainment. Summer in Katy is the perfect time for entertaining and spending time with friends and family. Katy is a friendly and hospitable place to live, and new residents are made very welcome, so don’t be a stranger and come out and enjoy yourself.
The fall sees a slight drop in temperature, but rarely could the weather be described as cold. Temperatures average somewhere between the upper 60’s to the lower 80’s. There is always the risk of a cold front sweeping down from the north, bringing with it wind and rain; Likewise hurricanes moving quickly into the region from the Gulf of Mexico, are also a risk, although this is a rare occurrence. To put this into perspective as I write this in 2016, the last hurricane to hit Katy was in 2008, but I feel it is important to mention the possibility to my readers.
If you love to do some skiing, and participate in winter sports, then Katy is probably not the place to relocate to. But if you hate the cold winter weather of other regions then Katy will seem like paradise. Don’t get me wrong sometimes we experience temperatures approaching freezing point, but that is very rare, perhaps less than ten days a year. January is the coldest month of the year, but even then the average is about 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hard to explain just how wonderful the weather in Katy is, we get the benefits of the warm weather for over three-quarters of the year, and even in winter we rarely suffer from frozen conditions. That being said cold fronts can sweep in and drop the temperatures by 40 degrees or so in a matter of seconds. It is a strange experience, and thankfully doesn’t happen too often and is a small price to pay for the outstanding weather we enjoy all year round. In fact, I would go as far as to say it would be difficult to find any other region in the world where the weather conditions are so favorable.
Major Weather Anomalies
As we all know mother nature can be unpredictable, and even Katy has suffered from significant weather events over the years. While I am not sweeping these incidents under the carpet, I wanted to highlight those over the last thirty-five years, so you are fully informed and can see how infrequent these type of events occur.
Hurricane Alicia 1983
It was 33 years ago that one of the worst atrocities, Hurricane Alicia blew into town. As with most hurricanes that effect Katy the hurricane came from the Galveston side of town. As far back as 1900, a hurricane had wreaked havoc in the area, and the residents of Galveston built 15-foot-high walls, in an attempt to prevent a similar situation from happening again. It is amazing to think that 83 years later those same defenses withstood a brutal battering from Alicia and managed to protect the coastal region from inevitable destruction.
That is not to say that damage was not inflicted and 21 lives were lost at the hands of Alicia, a hurricane so severe the name was retired from use. Alicia also caused an unbelievable 8000 miles of electricity cabling to be destroyed, leading to the loss of power for over 1 million people.
Hurricane Alicia recorded a wind speed of 115 miles per hour at its peak, but since then two further tornadoes have caused even more damage to Katy and the surrounding areas.
Tropical Storm Allison
It was another 18 years before Katy was to suffer such damage and freak weather conditions again but in 2001 Tropical Storm Allison hit the area causing huge damage and the loss of 55 lives. A tropical storm consists of weather conditions where the wind speed doesn’t exceed 39 to 73 miles per hour. Tropical storms are one of the most destructive weather patterns on the earth, and it is estimated that Allison caused approximately 9 billion dollars of damage in 2001 prices. Allison holds the unwelcome title of being the first tropical storm name to have been retired; such was the severity of the damage and destruction it caused, even though it never reached hurricane status.
Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc in Katy when it hit in 2008. To this day it still holds the unenviable record of being the costliest tropical cyclone on record. Because it is a relatively recent catastrophe, many of my readers will no doubt remember the destruction that Ike caused. With over 100 people killed, and to this day 34 still unaccounted for, Katy was badly affected by Ike. The overall cost to the United States was estimated to be somewhere in the region of 30 Billion dollars.
Hurricanes are a force of nature, and unfortunately, I cannot deny that they will and do effect the Katy region. But while they are severe and very scary, they are not frequent occurrences, and I for one wouldn’t let the risk of a hurricane drive me out of Katy.
Severe Flooding In Katy Texas
As a fanatical Katy resident, the last few paragraphs have been particularly difficult to write. My entire focus is on the positives of residing and bringing up your family in Katy Texas, but it would be wrong of me to ignore the infrequent but significant adverse weather issues.
Just because bad weather isn’t classified as a hurricane or tropical storm, it doesn’t mean that the destruction is minor. Earlier this year (2016) certain parts of Katy suffered from serious flooding, with the City of Katy, Lakes of Bridgewater, Greenhouse Road and South Mayde Creek, in particular, being badly affected. It was estimated that somewhere between 12 and 17 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours, with many homes having to be evacuated, and widespread destruction caused to properties. This is not said to panic anyone but rather to assist you in preparing for the Hurricane season should you decide to move to Katy.
How To Prepare For Hurricane Season In Katy Texas
One of the most frequent questions asked by people contemplating a move to Katy is what preparations need to be made for the hurricane season. As you can see from above, there are not that many hurricanes which directly affect the region, but when they do the destruction can be severe. The following list will give you some idea of the effort and preparation you should undertake if you do move to Katy.
- In an ideal world try to bring all of your loose items indoors, or at the very least secure them properly. Always be safe rather than sorry, however, heavy you think an item may be secure it.
- Consider purchasing a generator, as the loss of power can last for quite a lengthy period. If funds permit, you might also want to invest in a portable air conditioner, as the humid, sticky atmosphere can be a struggle without air conditioning. Remember when you are operating the generator to place it outside in the fresh air, as the fumes can be fatal to you and your family.
- Try to keep track of the hurricane via radio, as that will give you a greater idea of where it is likely to go. In general, if the hurricane is predicted to land to the south of Galveston, or anywhere close to the Freeport area, and is moving north, then Katy is at a higher risk of being hit.
- Prepare for the chance of a hurricane by buying some ¼ inch plywood, and then store it safely in your garage. Then if a hurricane is headed your way, you have the right equipment to board up your windows. In general, it isn’t the wind of the hurricane that causes the damage and destruction; it is the debris which is collected by the storm. By boarding up the windows, you will be giving your home a much higher chance of survival should the hurricane come your way.
- Consider Trees near to your home. If they have the potential to fall onto your property, it might be worthwhile cutting them down, as they have the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
- Always have a hurricane kit prepared and easily accessible, and make sure that every member of the family knows its location. Inside the kit, pack, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, battery operated fans, and of course spare batteries. It would also be a good idea to have some bottles of drinking water as well.
When reading all of the above points, you might be put off moving to Katy. These points are not intended to scare you in any way, but rather to educate you and assist you to prepare properly should another hurricane hit the region.
The Changing Face Of Industry In Katy Texas
Katy has a long tradition, and history and a lot of the industries have been linked in many ways to the fantastic weather conditions. The flat land was obviously perfect for agricultural work, and farming played a huge role for Katy back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Around 1939, Katy started to develop its rice growing industry which peaked around the 1970’s when there were over 300 rice farmers farming about 75,000 acres of rice. Katy long grain rice is regarded by many people as the finest long grain rice grown anywhere in the United States. Since then the amount of rice produced in Katy has dwindled, and at the last count, there were only about ten farmers still producing rice in Katy.
The time to harvest rice is in the spring time. When the rice farmers start harvesting their rice, they can be working for anywhere between 12 to 15 hours a day. Rice flourishes in Katy due to the high average rainfall, the flatness of the land, and the ability to store water. Add to this the fact that there is rarely any frost, and always lots of sunshine, and you have all of the elements that rice thrives on.
In the 1940’s Katy opened up one of the largest gas fields in the whole of the United States. Being in the heart of the energy corridor has been very beneficial to Katy and has produced thousands of jobs over the years, improved the economy, and attracted significant investment to Katy.
The population of Katy continues to increase, although there is something magical in the air as Katy has developed into a large city, but has somehow managed to retain that small town feel.
Moving to recent years, while Katy still benefits from being a part of the energy corridor, recent economic growth has been driven by the retail and leisure industries. There are large retail complexes scattered all over Katy and many beautiful golf courses. These courses attract tourism, which is also contributing significantly to the Katy economy.
The Katy Economy
At the time of writing, Katy is booming. The job market is exploding, and compared to other large cities in the United States, the house prices are very reasonable. There is also the added benefit of no income tax, although some of this is negated by sales tax of around 8.25 percent. There is after all only two things certain in life, death and taxes, and even Katy can’t help you there!!!
Why Do People Like Living In Katy So Much
I mentioned at the start of the article how passionate I am about Katy, but believe me, I am certainly not in the minority with how I feel about Katy. With the possible exception of the military, people who move to Katy stay in Katy. The weather, of course, is a huge factor but Katy has so many other positives, so let’s look at a few of them.
Katy is in a perfect location, far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Houston, but close enough for easy access should the need arise. George Bush airport is less than an hour’s drive away, and there are numerous smaller airports close by as well. If you don’t fancy Houston for a trip then San Antonio or even Austin are all within easy reach, you are spoilt for choice. Katy offers the benefits of a relaxed and caring small town atmosphere matched with the facilities and amenities of a larger city; it truly is the best of both worlds.
The school system within Katy is second to none, and with a total of seven High Schools, 14 Junior High Schools, and 39 Elementary schools your biggest problem could be deciding which educational establishment to send your children to. The schools all achieve above average grades and are regarded countrywide as some of the best schools in the United States.
First Class Worldwide Cuisine
If you enjoy dining out then, Katy offers a wide range of restaurants, which will delight you with their quality and price. Due to the location of Katy in the energy corridor, there has been a steady influx of people from all over the world. Consequently, the variety of food along with the quality is second to none, the only thing you need to be careful of is your waistline, as temptation lurks everywhere.
Recreational and Sporting Facilities
However, there are also many excellent sporting facilities, to help you burn off those extra calories, and if you love a spot of golf, then there are numerous stunning courses in the close vicinity.
As has been mentioned above, the weather is a huge factor in attracting people to Katy, just be prepared to do a lot of grass cutting, as your garden will grow for ten months of the year.
For those of you with small children be sure to visit the Katy Playstation Park. The park was initially built for children with physical disabilities but there are lots of different challenges for all children, and I have yet to hear of anyone who visited that didn’t have a fantastic time.
Another excellent place to visit is the Katy Veterans Memorial Museum, which is both interesting and fun. It makes for a truly inspirational day and is educational for all the family.
Maybe you fancy a little bit of the outdoors and nature, in which case try the Mary Jo Peckham Park. Here you can try your hand at a spot of fishing, duck feeding, and even some miniature golf.
If you were a real estate agent and were tasked with the job of selling Katy it would be one of the easiest jobs in the world. A beautiful friendly place to live, with amazing weather the whole year round. First class facilities, excellent transport options, and wonderful restaurants. Compared to surrounding areas the house prices are very reasonable, and the school district is first class.
As with any location in this part of America, there is always the risk of hurricanes and flooding, but provided you take sensible precautions this is not something to put you off.
Whether you are considering moving to Katy to raise a young family, or are contemplating the region for retirement, you are literally spoilt for choice. Katy has it all and is only going to continue to improve and grow as time passes by.
There are very few negative things about Katy, perhaps the cold fronts which occasionally sweep in from the north causing the temperature to drop rapidly in seconds, but even this is rare, and by keeping a close eye on the weather forecast you won’t ever really be taken by surprise
When it comes to shopping Katy is within striking distance of some huge shopping malls that can cater for your every need. Katy Mills and LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch have a great reputation, and also provide a fun day out for the whole family.
It is hard to contain my enthusiasm for Katy as there is so much to say about it, so many things to do, and such an amazing climate that it truly has everything going for it.