A prolonged hard freeze is coming to Houston just ahead of the Christmas holiday

The forecast is now pretty well locked in for this week: We’ll see wet conditions today, followed by three cloudy and not too cold, not too hot days. Then on Thursday, likely during the afternoon or evening hours, temperatures are going to plunge as a very sharp front whips into the area and causes temperatures to plummet. Precautions for a hard freeze, including protecting exposed pipes, plants, pets, and people should be taken ahead of time.


A coastal low pressure system is helping to drive rain showers across the metro area this morning, and these will continue on and off throughout the day. These should be more nuisance showers than anything, as accumulations are likely to be fairly low, less than 1 inch for most areas. Otherwise, expect highs in the low 50s with mostly cloudy skies and breezy conditions out of the east at 15 to 20 mph. Rains should mostly end by sunset as the system moves off to the east. Lows tonight will drop into the mid-40s.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for now through Wednesday. (Weather Bell)


This will be a mostly cloudy day. We will start off with a very slight chance of light rain and fog, but most people should stay dry. Otherwise, expect a high in the mid-50s, with chilly northerly winds gusting up to 20 mph out of the north. Lows Tuesday night will drop into the mid-40s.


Another cloudy and chilly day, with highs in the mid-50s.


Skies should start to clear out some, and for areas closer the coast where there is sunshine, we could see high temperatures jump up into the 60s, or possibly even 70 degrees. But this will be a mirage, as a strong front will be dropping down toward Houston with very strong winds, and extremely dry and cold air. This front looks set to reach the metro area some time during the afternoon or early evening hours, after which time temperatures will drop 30 to 40 degrees within a few hours.

Forecast for maximum wind gusts on Thursday night. (Weather Bell)

By around sunset, or shortly afterward, I expect much of Houston to be in the 20s, with wind chills making it feel much colder. (Winds will be gusting up to 40 mph, likely). Bottom line: you will not want to be outside on Thursday night. Lows for actual temperatures by Friday morning will likely drop into the upper teens for much of Houston. The very dry air should preclude the possibility of precipitation, which is a good thing as it should keep our area roadways dry during the hard freeze.

Low temperature forecast for Friday morning in Houston. (Weather Bell)


Although skies will be sunny on Friday, temperatures should remain in the mid- to upper 20s for much of Houston, with the coast possibly seeing a brief blip above freezing. Another hard freeze is likely on Friday night, with lows dropping into the low 20s for the Houston metro area. Area roadways, and those across much of the state, should be dry for Friday and much of the holiday weekend, easing travel concerns.


We should see more sunshine on Saturday, and this should help drive area temperatures into the upper 30s to 40 degrees. However, lows on Saturday night still could drop into the mid-20s with the Arctic air mass hanging around.

Christmas morning will start off cold for Houston! (Weather Bell)

Christmas Day

After a cold start, highs on Christmas Day should warm into the mid-40s with partly to mostly sunny skies. A light freeze is possible on Sunday night.

Next week

After the hard freeze, next week looks much warmer, with highs rebounding into the 60s during the early part of the week, and back into the 70s toward the end of the week. After today, rain chances look fairly low for awhile.

A message from our partner, Reliant

We’re glad to be a longtime supporter of Space City Weather and its mission to keep us informed about
seasonal weather – without the hype. With colder weather coming just in time for the holidays, Reliant
wants to share a few easy ways to prepare for dropping temperatures, so you can stay in control of your
electricity usage while staying warm.

With some simple preparation and by following these tips, you can keep your heating system from
working harder than it needs to and avoid unexpected winter electricity bills.

Check your thermostat. If you have an electric heater, keeping your thermostat around 68
degrees can help you save energy. For every degree above 68, you can typically expect a 3-5%
increase in heating costs.
Weatherstrip exterior doors and windows. With minimal effort and cost, you can seal out the
cold and save up to 10 percent on total energy costs.
Let the sun in. If the sun is shining, open blinds and shades during the day and remove any solar
screens to naturally warm your home. Close them at night to help block out the chill.
Close heat escape routes. Keep the chimney damper closed when not in use and be mindful of
how often you’re opening entry doors and using bathroom or utility room ventilation fans, as
heat can escape through these outlets.
• Get a programmable thermostat, like the Google Nest. This can help you save up to 12 percent on
heating costs without lifting a finger.
Get an annual heater tune-up. Make sure your air filters and furnace or heat pump are clean
and in good working order so that your system can run as efficiently as it should.
Protect your pipes. Shut off exterior faucets, drain water from outdoor pipes and insulate them
if a hard freeze is expected (28 degrees or lower for an extended period of time) to prevent
them from bursting.

For more ways to get your home and vehicle ready for the cold and additional tips to lower your winter
electricity bill, download the Reliant Winter Prep checklist and visit Reliant.com/WinterTips. As always,
we’re available 24/7 via phone at 1-866-222-7100 and online chat to support customers. Happy

41 thoughts on “A prolonged hard freeze is coming to Houston just ahead of the Christmas holiday”

  1. Is there no possible way that this will not be as bad as it sounds? I am absolutely terrified at having to go through this. Other storms and fronts shift and change direction, ANY possibility of that happening?

    • It’s always possible, but it’s increasingly improbable. Just take reasonable precautions and you should be OK.

      • It must be global warming? We need more of those caveman to stop making fires like they did to end the ice age. Coincidentally all the planets temperatures are dropped equally to her father they are from the sun. Global warming is such a joke and such a lie

        • “all the planets temperatures are dropped equally to her father”?? Seriously, before you turn one freeze per year into evidence of global cooling or some such nonsense, at least learn to write legibly.

        • Somebody failed science class. Global warming changes ocean temps which then affects jet streams, and causes extreme weather swings. Do yourself a favor, dude, and educate yourself so you won’t sound so ignorant. And watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. ..we were warned decades ago about the effects of climate change.

  2. Hopefully this time it won’t freeze too much, as we are still having PTSD from last year’s freeze.

    • At least this freeze won’t leave everything icy and make travel hazardous. Just trying to think positive. 🙂

    • Just shutting the water off isn’t enough, they’d also have to shut off power to your water heater and then run multiple faucets to empty your pipes as much as possible. Probably simpler to leave the water on and just tell them to turn all your faucets on with a thin steady stream (not just drips), and turn your central heat up a few degrees so it runs more as long as power stays on.

      • You shouldn’t have to turn off the water heater power, unless you are gone for quite awhile. It will still heat the water, but there shouldn’t be any water draining out of it so turning it off isn’t really necessary. That is what I have been told from multiple sources. If you turn off the main water supply to the house, just drain the outside faucet and cover it, and run multiple inside faucets till empty. If someone has a good reason for turning off the water heater I’d be curious, but every source I’ve checked and knowledgeable person I’ve asked says that is not necessary, and we never turned off our water heater in Colorado when it would get below freezing … but I am planning to shut off my water and drain, better to do that than risk something happening and have water leakage and flooding while out of town.

        • We have a reason. Our water lines run from main underground to inside garage, up walls to attic, across attic, over outdoor porch to the water heater in the laundry room. It’s this line (water heater) that burst in 2021. It’s because the portion of the line in attic is over an outdoor section of the house, not a heated indoor section. Even though we drained the lines, they stayed full. So, this time we will drain some of the water heater so those lines flow back to water heater.

    • Won’t really know until the freeze actually happens, or ERCOT issues advisories for people to limit their electricity usage.

    • That makes 2 of us! Harvey left me with holes in my roofFEMA said House was habitable never came inside! I only know by some higher power I survived 2021 by myself! I was turning color half human when ambulance put me inside got my body heat up and gave me The Boot! We’re not transporting today!Out I went!Out into the snow!I had a black retriever and 13 🐈‍⬛ cats So that’s how WE survived Body Heat!So xhausting have not recovered Now this!I am all prayed 🙏out!Virgen de Guadalupe God The Universe!!! I am so so scared not only 4 myself but 4 HOUSTON!🌹👵🙏🥵

  3. I see all of the people who complain about the heat crying even more about this cold snap. I’ve lived in colder climates and I know that cold is no fun. Only 91 more days until spring.

    • Temperatures in the teens don’t both me, I grew up with them. What bothers me is that I live in a city so pathetically unprepared for cold or ice.

  4. I am making a mental note to avoid all streets with permanent ground pipe leaks, e.g., the intersection of Morningside and Holcombe.

  5. You need to emphasize that temperatures will be below freezing from Thursday night 6PMish all the way til around noon Saturday. This is a recipe for pipes breaking. People need to wrap their outside pipes and drip the water in the house. Open the cabinets below faucets that have pipes running through outside walls. Keep it nice an toasty inside, and hope the electricity stays on.

  6. Question here among my office peeps today: Where are we at for rainfall for the year, vs historical average?

  7. Perhaps the biggest problem with electricity in Feb. 2021 was the moisture that came in with the storm statewide, that froze fossil fuel pipes and windpower turbines that keep the ERCOT grid running. It doesn’t appear we’ll have that problem this time. Rolling blackouts are possible, but nothing like we went through last year, unless there’s some unforeseeable catastrophe.


      • If there is water on valves they can freeze up, making it hard or impossible to open and close. If any water has leaked into pipelines they can freeze, and wells can freeze because of the presence of freezable liquids. And it was a huge problem last year that, because of impassible frozen roads, repair and maintenance crews couldn’t get to energy-producing sites.

    • The problem in February 2021 wasn’t external atmospheric moisture, but the water content present within natural gas itself freezing inside the pipelines restricting or blocking the flow to power generating facilities. Not sure what sort of nonsense TER is attempting to perpetrate with this statement.

      “Natural gas comes out of the ground saturated with moisture. That moisture needs to be removed or it will cause problems. If the moisture is not removed, it will corrode burners, burn less efficiently, and in cold weather, the moisture will freeze and block the flow of gas.”

      • I’m sure you’re right, I’m not trying to perpetrate nonsense, just trying to remember what a West Texas geologist told me after the “freeze-offs” at wellheads last year. But there was the big problem with roads, and the energy loop problem caused by pumps that couldn’t get electricity to pump gas to produce electricity. And we lost several gigawatts during Winter Storm Uri because of ongoing maintenance. My only point is we likely won’t have some of those problems this week.

  8. I’ll take a freeze every time over the typical Houston swamp weather we get 8 months out of the year. So nice to not be sweaty!

  9. My problem isn’t necessarily ERCOT – I live in a forested area along Cypress Creek and our power lines fly through the air (I.e. not buried) If we have so much as a breeze we always seem to lose power because a tree branch or even a tree goes down and takes out a power line! We are always losing power! So I’m planning on not having power from Thursday through Christmas! Therefore I’m shutting off my water on Thursday morning ahead of the storm. I too am extremely tired of living through “historical weather events!” Harvey and the Great ERCOT failure of 2021 have given me extreme weather related PTSD!

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