Houston has had a relatively mild winter thus far. Not too cold and generally not too warm either. We didn't have a winter wonderland over the holidays, but it didn't feel like Miami Beach either. As those of us who have been around Houston a bit understand, things can change pretty quickly in Houston weather and it appears this weekend will be another example.
A blast of Arctic air is moving south through the U.S. and some of that should reach our area late this weekend and early into next week. Model forecasting has been particularly difficult with this storm ranging from temperatures in the teens (yikes!) to barely freezing. We are still about five days out so forecasts should fluctuate somewhat, but here's what we know.
Expect plenty of dreary conditions through Friday with maybe a total of an inch-and-a-half of rain from Wednesday through Friday. Temperatures will gradually decrease and get chilly Friday afternoon with the passage of a front. Highs won't make it out of the 50s on Friday, but the coldest weather is yet to come.
Saturday and Sunday will be chilly and mostly cloudy. Highs on Saturday probably won't get above 50 and highs on Saturday could stay in the low 40s for the entire day. If you were making big outdoor plans for Valentine's Day, well...
Overnight lows both nights are expected to be in the low 30s. Areas north of Houston could see a hard freeze (eight hours below freezing) both nights, but Houston proper and areas south should be fine with some modest freezing temperatures overnight.
Sunday Night and Monday
This is where things get real weird, everybody. As of writing this, the forecast overnight Sunday into Monday was for temperatures to remain in the low to mid 30s through Monday after a drop to around 30 degrees Sunday night. And, at this point, forecasts are calling for at least a 50 percent chance of freezing precipitation including snow, perhaps as much as two inches.
While this is still a ways out and the models keep changing a bit, it's safe to say Monday is going to be pretty gross, so you should prepare for that. And with temperatures remaining at or just above freezing, particularly north of the city, you should be prepared with your pets, plants and pipes.
The coldest night of the next week is likely to be Monday going into Tuesday. Temperatures in town could bottom out in the mid to low 20s with a hard freeze just about certain. So far, there isn't any expectation of lows getting into the teens and temperatures should rebound with some sun on Tuesday well into the 40s. That means most of us won't have to worry about burst outdoor pipes. But, don't be surprised if lines in your attic freeze up a bit. It's not uncommon.
And when it comes to plants, this is the night where coverage will be most needed. Frankly, Friday through Tuesday, you may just want to keep them covered given the forecast. But, for sure Monday.
We don't have to tell you about pets, we hope, but for the love of God, don't leave them outside.
By Tuesday, the freezing temps should be behind us and we can get back to a more normal winter weather pattern for Houston. We'll update as things change.