Month: December 2017

A Friday morning Houston winter wonderland

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:20 AM

Roughly three and a half months ago, Houstonians took to social media late into the night to post frightening pictures and harrowing accounts of flooding devastating the city. Houstonians took to social media again late into last night and early this morning, this time to post festive pictures and share (mostly) joyous accounts of about as good a snow event as you could hope for in Southeast Texas.

As I write this, we don’t have official totals in yet, but based on pictures from all over, it looks like anywhere from a coating to 2″, give or take, in most of the Houston area. Obviously, College Station did quite well last night. They received 5″ officially, which would rank it their second biggest snow on record.

For the “official” number in Houston, I’d expect somewhere in the ballpark of 1.5″, which would rank somewhere in the top 10 or 15 for Houston snowfalls on record. The king, unlikely to ever be dethroned, is Valentine’s Day 1895’s estimated 20″, followed by 4.4″ on February 12, 1960.

This Morning

I know some people aren’t exactly overjoyed at the snow, especially those commuting early this morning. If you’re one of those folks, the good news is that most, if not all of the snow will be gone by about 9 AM.

Radar as of 6 AM shows lingering light snow near the coast and Bay Area. Snow should end completely by 7 AM or so. (GRLevel3)

That said, roads are icy in spots this morning, especially the flyovers on freeways. Use extreme caution while commuting. Any icy patches should dissipate as we warm above freezing by 7-8 AM. Temperatures will actually rise now that the snow has ended.

As we go through the rest of the morning, expect to see mainly cloudy skies. But things will get noticeably brighter as we work toward afternoon, and I think hopefully by Noon or so, Houston will see the sun again for the first time since before this cold snap began.

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SNOW WATCH 2017: It’s happening, Houston

Posted by Eric Berger at 8:07 PM

Just so we’re all on the same page for this crazy weather, I want you to recall that on Monday—just three days ago—the high temperature in Houston was 81 degrees. And now we are talking about snow. And speaking of snow, here is the scene in College Station on Thursday evening, shortly after sunset.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for northern counties in the Houston metro area (i.e. Waller, Montgomery, and Grimes) where moderate snowfall may stick to some bridges this evening as surface temperatures fall to below freezing. Up to 2 or even 3 inches of snow is possible for some areas in the Brazos Valley area, as the snow continues to fall.

Here’s a look at the radar, showing (in blue) areas of snow as of 8pm.

It’s snowing in Texas. In early December. Radar at 8pm CT Thursday. (Intellicast)

This system is slowly moving to the east-southeast. Short-term models suggest the band of moderate to heavy snowfall that stretches from Austin to College Station to Huntsville in the map above will weaken as it moves into the Houston area later tonight. This perhaps means the central part of Houston will see only flurries, or no snowfall at all. We’re not entirely sure.

(Space City Weather is brought to you this month by the Law Office of Murray Newman)

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It’s snowing in Houston—or rather above Houston. By looking at the radar this morning we can see that snow is falling down to around 2,000 feet above the surface and then melting. This is not uniform, and I expect that a few areas around, and north of town this morning may see a few snowflakes or sleet. We don’t expect anything to stick, so it shouldn’t affect travel around the area. More of this wintry mix will be possible tonight—including the possibility of some real snow falling right along the coast.

Thursday

We’re going to see one more dreary, winter day today as an upper-level storm system slowly moves through the area and off to the east. Rainfall accumulations won’t be a concern—we’re just seeing light to moderate precipitation—but the cold rain will add to an already cold day. Highs Thursday are unlikely to reach 50 degrees.

Forecast low temperatures for Friday morning in Houston. (National Weather Service)

Things get interesting tonight, as temperatures are forecast to come down into the mid-30s in Houston. However, even as we’re cooling down this evening, precipitation should be ending from northwest to the southeast. This means for inland areas, likely north of Interstate 10, the rain may end before it gets cold enough to produce a wintry mix of snowflakes or sleet.

Likely, then, the best chance for a wintry mix will be closer to the coast, where precipitation will probably linger into Thursday night or early Friday morning. (As Matt explained in depth last night, such forecasts are very, very tricky.  A lot of things have to go right to make snow in Houston). Our best guess is that coastal areas see some snowflakes later tonight, although kids may have to stay up fairly late to catch them. There’s the potential for some snow accumulations south of Houston, perhaps in Matagorda County, or well to the east of us in Southern Louisiana. Locally we don’t expect that, at least right now. Regardless of what falls from the sky, expect a very chilly night.

(Space City Weather is brought to you this month by the Law Office of Murray Newman)

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As Eric noted this morning, it looked possible that areas well north of Houston could see some ice pellets (sleet) mix in with the rain tonight. That continues to look like a possibility, and the forecast looks intriguing beyond tonight too. Let’s talk wintry weather chances.

Tonight

Radar as of 5:30 PM Wednesday shows a good bit of shower activity in the region, especially north of Houston. Rain has been pretty light and mostly just added to the dreary ambiance of the atmosphere today.

Radar as of 5:40 PM showed light rain north and west of Houston, with a smattering of patchy drizzle elsewhere. (GRLevel3)

As we go into tonight, expect a few more rounds of rain, perhaps steady at times. Temperatures tonight should hold steady or continue a slow drop over most of the area, and I’d expect overnight lows to bottom out in the 38-42° range on average. That’s safely above freezing, so in and around Houston, I’d honestly be surprised to see anything other than plain rain tonight. North of Houston (say up toward Conroe, Hempstead, or Brenham), I wouldn’t be shocked if you hear some “pings” of ice pellets mixed in with the rain late tonight.

Thursday

I think Thursday is pretty straightforward here. We should see continued light rain much of the day. Temperatures aren’t going to warm up much. Upper-40s should be about as good as we do in some spots. Mid-40s will suffice in others. But mild-ish temperatures should prevent any wintry precipitation from mixing in.

(Space City Weather is brought to you this month by the Law Office of Murray Newman) Read More…