Month: December 2016

Good news for Houston in water infrastructure bill

Posted by Matt Lanza at 12:14 PM

President Obama recently signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the National Act (WIIN) into law. Like many major spending acts, there’s a lot of “stuff” in this bill. It includes funding to help Flint, Michigan recover from its lead crisis, help for water projects in California, as well as re-authorization of several big conservation and restoration acts.

For those of us in Southeast Texas, there was one potentially important item in the bill. It includes a provision to speed up feasibility studies for a coastal storm surge protection system for Galveston Bay and the Houston area. This is what is more commonly known as the “Ike Dike.” The provision was added by Senator John Cornyn.

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Good morning. The development of some clouds overnight helped keep the majority of the Houston metro region just above freezing temperatures this morning. The winds have finally died down, too, so wind chills are much less of a factor. Alas we’re going to return to very warm conditions by Christmas weekend.


With a northeasterly wind we’re not exactly going to warm up all that much today—highs should only get into the low- to mid-50s under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures tonight will fall back into the mid-40s for most of the region.

The freeze line this morning is north of most of the Houston metro area. (Matt Lanza/National Weather Service)

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For most areas of Houston the first freeze of the season arrived this morning, including a mark of 30 degrees at Bush Intercontinental Airport. This official “first freeze” of the season comes nearly nearly three weeks late for the city’s official weather station.

The following map shows temperatures across the region as of 7am CT, which range from the low 20s near College Station to upper 30s immediately along the coast. With winds still in the 10 to 15 mph range this morning, wind chill temperatures across most of Houston are in the teens to low 20s—very cold.

Temperatures at 7am CT on Monday morning. (National Weather Service)

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As anticipated, it’s warm and breezy across Houston today with high temperatures reaching about 80 degrees as of noon. Brisk, southerly winds are gusting in from the south at up to 30 mph along the coast. Change, of course, is coming soon. We’ve been talking about a strong cold front arriving on Saturday night, and it as strong—if not stronger—than advertised.

The graphic below shows the swing in wind chill temperatures before, along and behind the front as of 11am CT in Oklahoma this morning. This represents a 90-degree swing in temperatures from the Oklahoma Panhandle to the southeastern corner of the state.

Wind chill temperatures in Oklahoma on Saturday morning. (Sam Lillo/Twitter)

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