Six More Weeks of Winter, But Probably Not for Houston

Don't drive angry even if we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter.
Don't drive angry even if we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter. Screen Capture Image
Punxsutawney Phil, the seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators, emerged from whatever hole he lives in last Friday and predicted six more weeks of winter. In the south, there is often a silent cheer that erupts because six more weeks of winter here means we put off the brutal heat of summer just a tad longer. Up north, they have a somewhat different reaction.

Of course, this is all to say we are taking weather advice from a rodent instead of actual science, something many reasonable and super annoying people on Twitter have been talking about all weekend. A more measured approach came from this article in the Chicago Tribune, which argues this sort of silliness only underscores the need for good science. Still, there are some people who believe this nonsense (in the same way they believe the earth is flat, we suppose), so the National Centers for Environmental Information actually looked at his forecasts over a 15-year period. Surprise, the furry little dude got it wrong the vast majority of the time. But, this is the era in which we live, where real scientists have to dispute the findings of a rat. But, we digress...

The bottom line is that while Phil may have seen his shadow, his forecast, even if it were to be trusted, probably doesn't apply to folks a little south of Pennsylvania anyway. In fact, national forecasts are calling for warmer-than-average temperatures for most of the southern part of the United States including Texas during February.

For the immediate future, we can expect more of what we've been getting, which, quite honestly, hasn't been all that great unless you appreciate the weather patterns of Seattle. Expect mostly cloudy conditions into Tuesday with mild conditions ahead of a cold front. Overnight into Wednesday, we should see some rain, though it's not expected to be heavy, with cooler conditions Wednesday and heading towards the weekend. Expect highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s with maybe a few 30s in the northern and western suburbs.

Unfortunately, the front won't really clear us out for long. Thursday will be nice and sunny, but clouds will return Friday and into the weekend. In fact, next weekend, at least at the moment, looks quite a bit like this past one (i.e. cool and gloomy).

For us, that is our winter and it will probably persist for a couple more weeks before we start to see some warming up again. There could (strong emphasis on could) be a more stout blast of cold air coming for the country in the next couple weeks, but it doesn't seem likely it will dramatically affectsoutheast Texas.

No forecast is perfect, obviously, but it is a hell of a lot better than what Phil has to offer, even if, OK, he's kind of adorable.
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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