Weather

We All Want a Cool Front, But Don't Count On It

Slow your roll there, autumn lovers. We still have a ways to go.
Slow your roll there, autumn lovers. We still have a ways to go. Photo by brando via Flickr
Forecasters have been talking about the possibility of the city's first legitimate cold front this fall blowing through the middle of next week. We all want to believe it's true. But, don't be too quick to pull those sweaters out of storage just yet.

First, a bit about Houston weather for those who were unaware. From mid-July through roughly mid-September, Houston is absolutely brutal. It's hot. It's humid. It's soul crushing. In addition, we are stuck in the middle of hurricane season which, as we saw just a week ago, can be more than a little nerve wracking...or worse.

So, when the hint of the first real cold front is rumored, people tend to cross fingers, offer prayers, start making promises they cannot keep all to bring a much needed breath of cooler air into town. And make no mistake, this we are not going from the armpit of summer to a crisp, 60-degree afternoon. Baby steps.

In the case of this particular front, we would be looking at highs in the mid 80s and lows in the low to mid 60s. Considering we have had some record minimum temperatures lately across the area (85 at midnight?), that kind of front sounds downright chilly. But, be careful about hoping too hard this early.

Typically, Houston gets its first bona fide cold front around the third week of September, not the first. Any earlier would be, while not unprecedented, pretty rare. And while some forecast models are calling for a fairly precipitous cool down, others are not as bullish and keep us in the 90s next week.

With still about five or six days out, it's a bit of a crap shoot as to whether we will see some lovely fall mornings or a continuance of an unabated summer.

Even if we did get a front through here, summer wouldn't be over entirely, not by a long shot. Temperatures would likely rebound within a week and we'd be back in the 90s until another shot of cool air could force its way south into Texas. Our transition to fall isn't so much a fall off a cliff as a very slow, gradual slope downward over several months.

But even the talk of a potential cold front provides a reminder that an end to the worst heat of the year is on the horizon. In 2020, anything that eases a little suffering is a welcome sight.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke