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Welcome to Winter in Houston: More of the Same in Store

In August and September when we in Houston are suffering through brutal heat and humidity, there is a tendency for people from here to bemoan the hot Texas summers and for our friends in the northern part of the country to brag about 75-degree summer highs. In those months when I'm sweating from pores I didn't know existed and pawning stuff to pay my electric bill, I just try and remember what it will be like in January when those same a-holes telling me about their perfect summer are digging themselves out from under 15 inches of snow while we walk around in flip-flops.

Despite an extremely chilly early part of February in 2011, last winter was relatively mild overall and this winter, so far, has been the same. The last few days may have been a tad warmer than usual, but, overall the weather has been downright wonderful. Expect more of the same the rest of this month and into February.

We are still dealing with the effects of La Niña, a Pacific weather event that has, at least in part, been responsible for the record drought Texas has faced since last spring. While we've gotten some measure of rainfall back over the last couple months, we still fell woefully short of our normal rainfall totals in 2011 and we'll likely be in for more of the same in 2012.

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Fortunately, La Niña brings with it mild temperatures in the winter, so our daily dose of highs in the 60s and 70s will continue right on through until March, making us the envy of anyone dealing with freezing temperatures during the same time frame.

Long-range forecasters are suggesting near normal temperatures for us through the spring and into the summer, with an increase in the possibility of rainfall once we reach the hottest months of the year. With the tree losses we've suffered as the result of the drought, let's hope that prediction is accurate.

For now, take solace in the fact that you can scoff at your friends and family shoveling snow right about now. Hell, take a picture of yourself lounging in shorts on your patio and send it to them. Serves them right.

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