Month: January 2017

A fairly cool morning—with temperatures in the 50s—will quickly warm and give the region one more warm day before winter-like conditions settle across the region for the rest of the month.

Today

As winds pick up out of the south today, with gusts possibly pushing into the low 20s mph especially along the coast, we’re likely going to see temperatures rise into the low 80s this afternoon under mostly sunny skies. This will be this winter’s 10th day of high temperatures that reach 80 degrees, or higher, and the last for awhile. Temperatures tonight won’t moderate too much, falling only into the low 60s across most of the area.

Wednesday

Some time on Wednesday morning, perhaps around sunrise, a cold front will move through Houston. It’s likely there won’t be enough moisture in the air to allow for much, if any, rain to develop with the front’s passage although a few scattered showers can’t be entirely ruled out. Temperatures won’t climb much on Wednesday as highs reach about 70 degrees under clearing skies. Northerly winds will dry things out, and lows Wednesday night should fall into the 40s—low for inland areas, upper for those closer to the coast.

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)

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Houston will host Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5th, at 5:30pm CT. Here’s an early look ahead at the forecast for Super Bowl week in Houston, and for the game itself.

Super Bowl week

We can have fairly high confidence that Sunday, Jan. 30th, Monday and probably Tuesday of Super Bowl week will have fairly chilly weather—for Houston. All available climate signals point toward highs of around 60 to 65 degrees, with lows of about 40 degrees.

The question then comes as to what happens from Wednesday through about Friday? Some of the guidance suggests fairly rapid warming, with high temperatures rebounding into the upper 70s. However other models bring another front through by Tuesday or Wednesday, to keep the colder weather going through most of Super Bowl week. I don’t see any real clarity in the forecast at this point, I’m afraid.

European model 10-day temperature forecast. (Weather Bell/Space City Weather)

 

In terms of precipitation, I don’t see any kind of a washout in the cards, but some light precipitation is possible toward the middle or end of next week.

Super Bowl weekend

And what of the big game? Regardless of the midweek front, the GFS ensembles are leaning toward a warmer game weekend, with a high temperature in the upper 60s to mid-70s on Saturday or Sunday.

In regard to the European model, many of the ensembles are suggesting a fairly strong cold front might move through sometime during the first week of February. If that happens before Sunday game time temperatures might be quite chilly, in the 40s or 50s. If it doesn’t, we could be back to highs of around 80 degrees by Saturday, Jan. 4th and Super Bowl Sunday. One forecast we can have confidence in: The roof will be closed, regardless.

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)

The winds finally died down shortly before midnight on Sunday. Peak gusts for inland areas—to the north and west of US 59—were generally 40 to 45 mph, while peak gusts closer to the coast generally ranged from 45 to 50 mph. But now, as our weather settles down into a more winter-like pattern, here’s a look back at the warmth this month, and ahead at cooler weather.

Warmth

The first eight days of January were quite cold, with an Arctic blast that drove overnight temperatures into the low- to mid-20s for three nights. But since then the region has been anomalously warm. Accordingly, the average temperature for the month through three weeks has been 60.9 degrees, which ranks 7th on the list of all-time warmest Januaries for Houston—so far. I think we may finish just outside the top 10 given a cooler last week of the month.

(National Weather Service)

 

Another measure of warmth is the number of 80-degree days, a marker for truly abnormal, daily heat during winter. Houston has recorded nine 80-degree days so far in December and January. According to the National Weather Service the record for total number of 80-degree days in “winter,” defined here as December through February, is 17, which has happened three times (1995-96, 1956-57, & 1910-11). It’s certainly not out of the question that we pick up seven or eight 80-degree days in February, so we’ll see. But for the rest of January I see the opportunity to add one more.

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)

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If you’re planning outdoor activities on Sunday please take the potential for strong wind gusts into account. As pressures fall on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and a front moves through the Houston area, the region will likely see sustained winds from 20 to 30 mph for most of the day.

Sustained wind forecast for noon on Sunday. (windy.tv)

 

Gusts in Houston may reach into the low 40s, and 45 mph or higher right along the coast. This will drive temperatures and humidity levels down, and most of next week will finally feel more like winter than fall.

Also, after a series of major rain events have raked Houston during the last week, the region will also enter into a much drier period, with low rain chances for at least the next week or 10 days. For those fretting about the “end” of winter, it also seems likely that we’ll see some significantly colder weather by the end of this month, but the details still aren’t entirely clear. In any case, winter isn’t over yet.

Posted at 10:30am CT on Saturday by Eric

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)

As expected some thunderstorms have develop near, and south of Victoria this afternoon along a warm front stretching across coastal Texas. As these storms migrate to the northeast toward the Houston metro area, it appears likely that a weak disturbance in the upper atmosphere will add an additional impetus to strengthen them this evening over Houston.

Thunderstorms are likely in Houston this evening. (Texas Tech)

 

Practically, this means the region will see a pretty healthy chance of showers sometime between 4 and 8pm this evening, and a decent chance of thunderstorms. Tornadoes appear unlikely to form with this system, but some hail is possible due to vertical wind shear. Most areas will likely see 1 inch of rain or less, but a few areas might see more rain where the heaviest storms set up. Any lingering showers should exit the area by about 9pm.

Saturday should be mostly sunny, with a high in the upper 70s, and a slight chance of rain toward the evening hours. Sunday still looks sunny, but quite blustery as a front moves in. Look for gusts in the 30s, which could play havoc with outdoor activities.

Posted at 2:40pm CT on Friday by Eric

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)