Last week Houston saw its first significant snowfall in nearly a decade. Some areas got nearly two inches of the white stuff. Now, northern transplants greeted our giddiness at the scene with a head shake and a knowing chuckle, but to those of us from Texas, this was a big deal.
In Houston, we alternate between wishing it would finally get cold outside and complaining about having to turn on the heater, which might be as perplexing as the weather patterns, but we are who we are. As Christmas nears, thoughts turn to more than sugar plums along the upper Texas coast. We all want to know, will it be cold?
To qualify, cold weather in Houston is roughly a high temperature that doesn't reach 60 and a low above freezing. Minnesota we ain't. But, having "festive" holiday weather—"No one wants to wear a T-shirt and shorts on Christmas," they will say—seems to be of some relative importance to natives.
With just under two weeks left, any forecast is going to be speculative at best, but there are some trends worth watching.
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The next week will be warm-ish with highs getting into the lower 70s. In truth, it will be damn fine outside, the kind of days we all long for in August. But, most will want, at least for a couple days, the temps to creep downward. After all, we want Santa's cheeks to be rosy as we dream by the fire (in our fireplace that is probably more decoration and fire hazard than heater).
Looking ahead, long-range forecast models are calling for a fairly decent blast of cooler air to drop southward at or just before Christmas Day. Areas in the northeast may very well have quite the white Christmas. Around here, we won't be getting any more flurries, but it's possible there will be a bit of a chill in the air when the kiddos wake up and inspect their loot Christmas morning.
We can't say for certain just yet, but the trend is toward a cool, perhaps drizzly day with highs in the 60s. If the front is slightly more potent, we could see it a bit colder than that and if it is a bit late, it could push towards 70. Not exactly winter postcard weather, but not sunny Miami either.
By this time next week, forecast models will have a much better fix on what we can expect, but for now, keep the sweater handy—bonus if it is a weird holiday variety—and have some hot chocolate on hand. Even if it hits 70, you'd be a Grinch otherwise.