A mild week before an Arctic front crashes into Houston

Houston is experiencing a chilly morning, with lows generally ranging from the upper-30s to lower-40s across the region. This is cold for Houston, but as we’ll see in the forecast, it’s going to get colder still by next weekend as an Arctic front storms into Houston on Saturday.

Monday

The region enjoyed a mostly sunny weekend, and we should have more sunshine today before the clouds begin rolling in tonight and Tuesday. Expect dry and cool conditions today, with highs in the mid-50s and only mild winds. We’ll see another cold night on Monday night, although some scattered clouds should keep temperatures a couple of degrees warmer than Sunday night and Monday morning.

Monday night will be another chilly one before temperatures warm this week. (National Weather Service)

Tuesday

With a more southeasterly flow in place, skies should become more cloudy as moisture levels rise. Expect high temperatures near 60 degrees, with overnight lows around 50 in the city.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Temperatures should warm from the mid-60s on Wednesday to the lower- or mid-70s on Friday, and rising moisture levels may lead to some scattered light to moderate rain showers. I would not anticipate anything more than a few tenths of an inch of rain. Overnight lows will climb to around 60 degrees, but this warm-up should be fairly brief because …

Saturday

An Arctic front will reach the Houston area sometime on Saturday. The exact timing of the front is not clear, but whenever it reaches Houston it is likely to bring a line of showers and thunderstorms—these should be brief-lived, and produce maybe one-half inch of rain. These rains will quickly be replaced by very strong northerly winds during the day and throughout the night. Highs before the front will likely be in the low 60s, and after the front’s passage they will fall off a cliff, with at least the northern half of Houston freezing on Saturday night, and probably most of the metro area.

Sunday

We marathon runners like it cold, but this cold? The temperatures won’t be pleasant at race time, likely in the range of 27 to 33 degrees in downtown Houston. My big concern, however, remains winds. Depending on when the Arctic front reaches Houston, they could still be blowing considerably by Sunday morning, leading to some fairly extreme wind chills. Right now the best guess for winds on Sunday morning at the start of the race is 15 to 20mph sustained winds, with higher gusts. This will lead to wind-chill temperatures in the upper-teens. Plan your gear accordingly.

The European ensemble forecast for Sunday morning: Cold or very cold. Plus winds. (Weather.us)

Skies should be clear, but highs on Sunday are unlikely to climb out of the low 40s for most of the region—if they get that warm. Another widespread freeze is likely on Sunday night, with potentially a hard freeze in the mid- to upper-20s for inland parts of the Houston region. We’ll have to refine the temperature forecast as we get closer to the weekend.

Next week

Most of next week looks chilly, with highs in the 50s, although we probably will be done with freezes after Monday. Winter, y’all!

12 thoughts on “A mild week before an Arctic front crashes into Houston

  1. Isaac Bertrand

    Aside from this weekends cold front, is it safe to assume the rest of winter will be mild as it has been so far?

  2. Kathy Bucher

    The predicted temperature graph is very useful. It would be nice to see how it compares with actual temperatures next week.

  3. Chuck H

    🙂 “We marathon runners like it cold?” 🙂

    🙂 Be careful what you wish for . . . . 🙂

    For the sake of all the runners, I hope any northbound legs of the course are short and downhill! A long, uphill stretch into 20 mph winds sounds like some sort of medieval punishment.

    1. Owen

      Hills?!? Have you been to Houston?!? The only thing resembling that exotic land feature called a “hill” on this course is a railroad overpass on a short stretch on Westpark Drive. There are also the gentle rollers on the Allen Parkway headed back into downtown, but those don’t even qualify.

      The temperature will be fine for us runners. It’s the wind that could make it a challenging experience!

      1. Chuck

        Well, I’ve lived in the area 20 years, and I wrote “uphill”, not “hills.” I’ve driven on Allen Pkway toward downtown, and there is a rather lengthy uphill stretch from the middle of Memorial Park all the way into downtown. That was the sort of “uphill” into a 20 mph wind I thought would be nasty, especially if it were after Mile 20.

        Best wishes for a successful run

  4. Mother of the Bride but a nice one :)

    My daughter is getting married on Saturday afternoon with the reception in the evening. Some of the reception venue is outside. I always watch your forecasts closely. Obviously, I’ll be watching even closer for the timing of the front. Any chance the timing may change or is Saturday looking pretty confident?

  5. Sheila

    Thank you for this! The bright side is that we likely won’t be also rained on during the race on Sunday (I’m running the half). Any predictions on the timing of the front on Saturday for us doing the 5k warm-up run?

  6. Sandie

    Your last statement has me confused….. last freeze for our entire winter? Or last freeze from this particular Artic blast?
    I’d love it if it was the last freeze our winter this year!

  7. Owen

    Great post Eric. I really appreciate the site and your approach to weather in our fair city.

    I’m following it closely this week because I’m running on Sunday. As to the marathon weather and your closing comment, I refer you to a common Norwegian expression (apparently also attributed to Ralph Fiennes): “There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing.”

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0970/3472/files/Lov4-badweather_1024x1024.jpg

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