This is why no one should be on the road until the temperature gets above freezing.
This is why no one should be on the road until the temperature gets above freezing.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Hey 19: Deep Freeze Brings Temps in the Teens, Icy Roads to Houston

If you went to bed last night and happened to take a look at the temperature as we did, you saw something in the neighborhood of 25 or 26 degrees. For us, that was around midnight. Honestly, we weren't all that shocked. The whole day had been below freezing after all. But when we glanced at the dew point number (our app is cool like that) and saw 12, we will admit to being a little surprised.

Typically, as goes the dew point, so goes the temperature. Early Wednesday morning, much of the area bottomed out in the upper teens (the official temperature will likely be about 19 degrees), frost, sleet and snow still on the ground. And ice. Lots of ice everywhere.

The last time we saw a temperature this low in the area, according to our friends at Space City Weather was 1996. Look, we the occasional run of chilly weather as much as the next guy, but, for Houston, this is ridiculous. Good news is, we won't have to wait long to get back to more reasonable weather.

Don't get on the roads right now, k?
Don't get on the roads right now, k?
Google Map

Before we get to that, let's talk about the traffic and ask you, point blank, why did you leave your house last night? Why have you left this morning? There were several hundred accidents, mostly on area freeways, yesterday. On Wednesday morning, the traffic map of Houston looks like it was involved in the Red Wedding there are so many blotches of red.

And those are just the main highways. Side streets, particularly small bridges over area bayous, likely still have ice on them, the dangerous kind that is difficult to see and predict. Be smart and stay inside until it clears.

When will that be, exactly? Glad you asked. We aren't going to exactly see tropical weather today. Highs are expected to top out in the mid to upper 30s. But anything above freezing will allow all this ice to melt and dry out. Temperatures for much of Houston should get there right around noon given ample time for the roads to dry this afternoon.

Unfortunately, we are in for another cold night with temperatures again falling into the 20s. It's probably going to be a hard-ish freeze, but not what we saw Wednesday morning and we'll get up into the 40s on Thursday afternoon. The remarkable thing about Houston and Texas is that a sizable rebound is on the way. Warm air off the Gulf will push into southeast Texas and Friday will see highs in the 60s, perhaps even the low 70s for Saturday and Sunday, if you can believe that.

There doesn't appear to be any indication of more seriously cold weather on the way anytime soon. Long-range forecasts are even suggesting the rest of the "winter" in Texas could be warmer than normal. We'll see about that. But at least by Thursday, we will begin a real thaw. The only thing we want to see frozen in Houston for a while is our margarita.

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