A pleasant early winter weekend before a rainy Monday and cold runup to Christmas in Houston

Well, we made it to Friday again. The weather looks quiet this weekend for the most part. Next week is another matter. The main headlines today:

  • A few showers this evening or overnight before a nice weekend.
  • Widespread rain on Monday.
  • Strong cold arrives Thursday or Friday, but just how cold it gets remains elusive. A freeze is likely for most of the area, with a hard freeze becoming possible on at least one night.
  • While we will continue to watch things closely, we do not believe the upcoming cold will rival what we saw in 2021 in terms of intensity, duration, or impacts.

Connect with us!

Before we get into the forecast, I wanted to share that as of Wednesday, Space City Weather is now available in Apple News! So if you are an Apple News reader, you can search for us there or just tap here to get to our landing spot in the app where you can follow us. Obviously, we’d prefer you come right to the site or download our own app, but we’re making an effort to reach people where they are and maybe grab a few new eyeballs in the process.

Don’t forget to share with any Spanish speaking friends or family that we have Maria Sotolongo on the team using her meteorological knowledge and bilingual skills to cross-post our updates in Spanish at Tiempo Ciudad Espacial and on social media! She does great work, and we want that area of our site to continue to grow.

And lastly, our social media pages. We’ll try to adapt as the environment and people’s preferences evolve, but as of today, you can find us here:

Facebook (en español)
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You can also find myself, Eric, and Maria on most of the socials by searching our names.


Alright, on to weather, and it’s a fine, albeit cool morning across the area. Most of us will see sunshine this morning, but look for clouds to roll in as the day progresses. This is ahead of a cold front to reinforce the dry, cool air over the region. Yes, we could see a few showers pop up along the front late this afternoon as it passes through, but I suspect any rain would be brief, and many of us will see nothing at all. High temperatures will make it into the mid-60s. Winds will kick up a bit out of the north behind the front.


Saturday will probably start off with some clouds. There could even be a few lingering showers south of Houston, along the coast and down toward Matagorda Bay. I can’t promise that we’ll turn sunny in the afternoon, but the data suggests we gradually will. So hopefully it will be a day of decreasing clouds. It will be cooler and breezier Saturday, with highs in the low-50s and a gusty north wind (especially over the bays and Gulf).

We’ll have what should be our coldest night of this current stretch so far on Saturday night into Sunday morning. Look for 30s in most spots, with low-30s in far outlying areas and notorious cold spots like Conroe.

Sunday morning lows will be our chilliest so far in this stretch, with a light freeze possible well north and west of Houston. (Pivotal Weather)

Sunday itself should be generally sunny and continued cool, though with less wind. High temperatures should reach into the mid or upper-50s. There could be an influx of clouds during the afternoon, especially south of I-10.


Monday continues to look like a wet day. Expect off and on rain, sometimes steady to heavy in spots. It will add up to an inch or so across most of the region.

Monday’s rain totals will be somewhat unevenly distributed, but expect close to an inch in most of the area, with some seeing a bit less and others a bit more. (Pivotal Weather)

There will be a bit of a spread in temperature on Monday. Warm air is going to try to surge off the Gulf, so coastal areas could poke up above 60 degrees. Inland areas should stay mainly in the 50s, which will feel very damp with the increasing humidity in addition to the actual rain.

Tuesday & Wednesday

The midweek period does not look too bad, so if you’re out getting last minute gifts, it should be fine, aside from all the other people doing the exact same thing. We may have a few lingering showers on Tuesday, along with plenty of clouds. Highs will be in the 50s to perhaps near 60 or so. Morning lows will be around 50 degrees or in the upper-40s.

For Wednesday, I would anticipate some sunshine and probably another pleasant winter’s day with highs in the upper-50s after a morning of 40s.

Late next week/Arctic outbreak

Alright, so we’ve all been talking about this cold coming. And potentially snow! We know that has folks a little uneasy.

Bottom line: We expect at least a couple nights of freezing temperatures late next week, with an increasing risk of at least one night of a hard freeze (< 25°) in Houston. While we will continue to watch this forecast very closely, we do not believe that the intensity, duration, or impacts of the cold will rival what we saw in 2021, which saw mid or low teens for lows. Snow odds are much lower, but not quite zero.

First, the temperatures. Given the many distractions this time of year, and given that you have had over a week’s notice that this a freeze was possible, it is probably a good idea to take a moment this weekend to prepare your home for a potential hard freeze. Not a February 2021 type event. But a couple nights in the 20s and maybe a night in the teens outside the city.

The Texas Tribune published an article with a bunch of winter weather tips last year. Our advice is to use this as a base and take care of as much of the low hanging fruit as you can right now. Irrigation systems, maybe some very sensitive plants, etc.

In terms of specifics, what we’re able to say with some confidence is that “at least” a freeze is likely across the entire area on “at least” a couple nights, and a hard freeze (temps below 25°) is becoming increasingly likely on at least one night next week, probably Thursday night into Friday.

This map shows the probability of temperatures in the teens next Friday morning. For the City of Houston, it’s currently about 10 percent or less. (Weather Bell)

Whether this goes from a more typical once every few year event to something more problematic is still a question. While it’s unlikely that we will get into some more troublesome cold, it would be foolish of us to completely rule it out. The big thing I’m seeing right now is that daytime temperatures are expected to get well above freezing each day, something we did not see in 2021. We will continue to monitor this closely, but given the current low odds of temperatures in the teens and the expectation of above freezing daytimes, we do not believe this will rival 2021’s situation in terms of impacts.

As far as snow? Here is the European model’s interpretation of the chances we get an inch of snow next weekend. That’s about 10 percent. High for Houston, but not exactly anything I’d take Mattress Mack to Louisiana to bet on.

This map shows the European ensemble model’s chance of at least 1″ of snow through the 27th. It remains at 10 percent or less, high for Houston, but still unlikely. (Weather Bell)

That’s where we are right now. If we have any new insights to share, you’ll find a post from us this weekend. Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend!

27 thoughts on “A pleasant early winter weekend before a rainy Monday and cold runup to Christmas in Houston”

  1. Thank you for the info as always. What is the timing of the rain on Monday? We have family flying into IAH in the evening.

    • The weather forecast for the IAH zip code from Weather.com;

      Mon 19 | Night

      NE 10 mph
      Rain likely. Thunder possible. Low 49F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

  2. Curious on the comments about wanting to be more into TikTok when most serious organizations are not allowing this app to be used with their systems. Plus all of the other stuff dealing with China.

    • Yes, please, do not try to use TikTok more! No one ought to be using them at all. Not just “dealing” with China; controlled by the CCP.

    • Reality is that’s where a gigantic group of younger individuals has gone. If we want to reach that type of audience, we need to meet them where they are. Maybe it will ultimately be banned and the point is all moot, but in today’s environment, it’s a reality. I have not personally created an account for reasons you cite, but as an entity, we should make an effort to be there.

  3. Hi Matt, thank you for the no hype accurate weather forecasts. I have plans to be away from home during the next week hard freeze. Other than winterizing sprinkler system and covering exposed pipes, would you recommend turning water main off and draining the pipes?

  4. What do y’all think might happen with flights coming on Thursday and Friday in the early hrs. Like 1 am?

    • I think they’ll be fine as this front looks mostly dry. It won’t be like 2021 with snow and ice. If that does it happen, it would happen later in the weekend.

  5. I wonder if this is the start of the ice age that was predicted in the 1970s. When I first came to Houston, there was never a risk of truly cold winter weather. Most of the winter was just like it’s been these past few days, sunny, clear days warming up into the 60s, and clear crisp nights with lows in the 40s or maybe 30s. If a winter did have freezing temperatures, it would be a night that dropped to maybe 29, but quickly went up over freezing with the sunrise. Now, every winter has cold weather. When I first came to Houston in 1999, I never wore a winter coat, only a sweater, sport jacket, leather jacket. Now it is much colder, and I remember the ice age was predicted in the 1970s.

    • going back to 2000 per the IAH climate site:

      2002 had temps in the low 20s.
      2010 had temps down to 20.
      2011 had temps in the low 20s.
      2014 had temps in the low 20s.
      2016 had temps in the low 20s
      2018 had temps in the high 10s
      2021 had temps in the low 10s

      I don’t have enough easily accessible data, but this kind of cold (20s) is not uncommon. Unless you’re saying this is a new phenomenon starting ~12 years ago?

    • We’ve had a fairly notable warming trend in winter as a whole since 1980. Six of our 20 warmest winters have occurred since 1998. We’ve obviously also had some of our warmest full years on record recently too. So, the ice age hypothesis is likely incorrect. And more recent climate science has basically invalidated it as well.

  6. Born in 1965 here, and we have had plenty of years temps would occasionally dip into the 20’s during Dec-Feb. Sometimes into the upper teen’s. Not really that unusual…this isn’t something new. The Feb. 2021 freeze WAS unusual & extreme for both the intensity and duration of low temps. Ice age not cometh…

  7. Temperatures actually used to drop into the teens alot more often down here in the 70s and 80s. In the 90s and 2000s there was a sudden down tick in the frequency of harsh arctic blasts. But in the 2010s we started increasing the frequency of hard freezes again. It looks like this trend may continue into this decade as well.

  8. It actually dropped down into the single digits in December of 1989. That was another major anomaly for Southeast Texas.

  9. how frustrating that you guys also hype this up, first yall said it was gonna be a light freeze and now a hard one, tomorrow youll be saying we will he in the teens. Just say you dont know! the european weather models are all over the place, updating with different patterns every time… messy and just bad predictions. Might as well say expect the worst. If it doesnt happen then yay.

    • Its called predicting the weather. Meteorologists are not gonna say to the public “hey I don’t know what the weathers gonna be tomorrow folks” They use the data that is given to them at the time to calculate what weather conditions could be.

  10. same thing happened all year with the rain predictions. They kept saying we were gonna get rain and we got none… lol they just cant get it right

  11. “..at least one night of a hard freeze (< 25°) in Houston”
    I wonder if that should state: (> 25) since that is intended to indicate the temperature is likely to be greater in a downward direction?

    • I suppose it depends on how you read it explicitly. I’m intending to imply that a hard freeze would be temperatures colder than 25°, literally “less than 25.”

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