That Escalated Quickly: Cold Front Roars Through with Rain, Hail Leaving Gusty Winds

Well, that weather escalated quickly.
Well, that weather escalated quickly. Screencap
So, funny things happen with weather in southeast Texas sometimes. Such was the case on Thursday just before evening rush hour, naturally. First, in the early afternoon hours, a line of fairly strong storms passed through ahead of a cold front. While these gave us a nice soaking, they were only the preview.

Later in the afternoon, a fast-moving line of storms developed east of Houston and proceeded to wallop the central part of town with torrential rains and even some bb-sized hail in places. It caused quite the soggy ride home for many Houstonians and created some minor street flooding along the way. Some parts of the area received nearly an inch-and-a-half or rainfall in just a few hours.

This was all thanks to a rapidly moving cold front that finally made its way through Houston in the early evening. Once it did, temperatures dropped 10-15 degrees within a few minutes. What began as a rather muggy and mild day outside quickly turned into a blustery evening. The National Weather Service even warned of gale force winds reaching 40-45 mph overnight and wind chills dropping into the teens north and west of the city. By 10 p.m. wind chill readings were near freezing across the entire region and in the mid 30s close to the coast, and some were without power thanks to the gusty winds.

The good news is it likely won't freeze for most of Houston tonight. The northern suburbs could see a light freeze, but nothing significant. The bad news is we are still on track for a very cold Saturday night into Sunday morning, right as the Houston Marathon is scheduled to start.

With beautiful albeit a tad chilly weather the next couple days (highs in the low 50s and lows in the mid to upper 30s), a reinforcing blast of cold air will drop in by Saturday night meaning a light freeze for most of the region with a hard freeze to the north. Lows north of the city should be in the 20s.

By the start of the race, temps may climb to at or just above freezing, though with light winds and sunny skies, things should "warm" up relatively quickly.

For the Monday holiday, it looks to be absolutely beautiful with sunny skies and a high around 60. Frankly, if you can live with the cold nights, the daytimes this weekend are going to be stellar, a good chance to get outside and get some fresh air. This is winter for Houston, so enjoy it while you can.

Our next chance of rain is early Tuesday, but it is not expected to be significant or anything like what we suddenly got on Thursday. But, you never know. This is Texas and, as the saying goes, if you don't like the weather here, wait.
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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