A pesky front toys with Houston area humidity the next couple days

Yesterday, Eric touched on the mostly dry forecast for the next week or so. You may be starting to ask yourself if we are heading back into drought. The answer is that we aren’t yet, but a few more weeks like this and we may be starting to discuss it more.

A bit over half of Texas is in drought right now, compared to almost 80 percent a year ago. (NOAA)

The Houston area right now is fine in terms of official drought. I imagine some farmers are beginning to feel it though across the region. In terms of Texas, about 58 percent of the state is in drought, substantially less than a year ago, so that’s great. But as temperatures begin to heat up and the days get longer, this becomes a little less likely to continue unless we see some meaningful rain. The good news is that parts of North Texas may get a bit of rain, but for the rest of us, it looks less positive. With a mostly dry forecast over the next week and the Climate Prediction Center calling for a dry-ish 8 to 14 day period, expect drought to start entering the vernacular a bit more.

After a mostly dry week 1, the second week of the forecast period also looks drier than normal in Texas. (NOAA CPC)

Meanwhile, it hit 83° yesterday, our third consecutive 80 degree day. In February, we’ve done 5 straight days before, in 1986 and 1996. We aren’t expected to hit 80 today, so we will probably end it at three. Just a gentle reminder: These early 80s mean absolutely nothing at all about our later spring or summer. Nothing. So, you may love this or hate this early spring warmth, but it doesn’t mean April or August will go one way or the other.

Today and Saturday

In terms of actual weather, the forecast for today and tomorrow is relatively simple: Clouds, sun, and coastal fog. A passing shower or some light rain, drizzle, or mist is possible as well. We won’t see anything more significant than that.

In terms of temperature and humidity? Yeah, that’s another story. Depending on where you live or where you commute, you may experience both late spring and early spring today. As of 6 AM, the cold front was located basically from Sugar Land through Spring to Lake Livingston.

The cold front is located right through the middle of the Houston metro area, based on this 6 AM map of observed dewpoint, and it’s about to slam on the brakes. (Weather Bell)

Why does this matter? From a temperature perspective, yes it’s cooler on the other side of the front, but it’s not exactly “cold.” I would expect mostly 60s to low-70s behind the front, while areas ahead of the front do mid to upper-70s today. More importantly, the humidity is sharply lower behind the front. Literally, right now it’s very, very humid at Bush Airport, yet just a little humid in Spring and bordering on comfortable in Conroe. So with this front literally parked over the metro area today, exactly where it’s parked will make the difference between a very warm and humid February day or a mild but somewhat comfortable one. It just so happens that millions of people live around that boundary, so your mileage is going to vary a lot today.

It’s unlikely that this front would get too far south and east today, so most areas south and east of Houston should stay warm and humid with areas of fog or low clouds.

This story continues Saturday. The front is going to move back to the north and west, but exactly how fast and from exactly what start point in the Houston metro area is difficult to say. In general, look for more warm and humid weather to gradually work north and west tomorrow, while coastal areas remain stuck in low clouds and fog. We’ll call it mid-70s for most, but a few places south and east could test 80°, while some places north and west may stay in the 60s to low-70s.


By Sunday, the front should finally be making steady progress north. Weather-wise, it will be more of the same: Clouds, sun, and coastal fog. But! Winds on Sunday look a little stronger than Friday or Saturday, so I would hope that we could see the fog get lifted a bit on the coast. Look for a south wind of 10 to 15 mph, or a bit stronger at times over the water. Overall, Sunday should be a mostly cloudy, breezy, and warm day with 80s possible in many spots again.


Our next real definitive cold front is still scheduled for Monday. There could be an overnight or early morning burst of 20 to 30 mph south winds near the coast ahead of the front Monday, but things will calm down in the morning rather quickly. The front should clear the region by mid-morning Monday with only a handful of showers as it moves through. The rest of the day will actually look gorgeous. Expect sunshine, much lower humidity, and highs in the 70s.

Tuesday & Wednesday

We get our usual bout of cool weather behind the front on Tuesday morning, with lows mostly in the 50s.

Morning lows on Tuesday will be much cooler than they have been, with 50s in most spots and even a few 40s possible in the coldest locations. (Pivotal Weather)

A few 40s may be possible in outlying areas. Tuesday itself looks great with sunshine and highs in the 70s to near 80 degrees. Low, comfortable humidity will continue — a great opening night for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo!

Onshore return flow means the humidity comes roaring back on Wednesday. Expect more clouds as well. We’ll test the 80s, and it will feel much less comfortable.

Later next week

Our next front is penciled in for Friday morning. This one should bring some rain and wind (especially offshore) with it, but whether it’s noteworthy or just something you’ll notice remains to be seen. We’ll watch it through the weekend. I’d expect Thursday to be cloudy, warm, and breezy. Friday should be changeable with a chance of early AM storms and gusty winds followed by clearing, much cooler, and drier weather. If all goes well, next weekend will be an absolute winner. Fingers crossed.


It’s that time of year, allergy sufferers. This weather is not helping. But the trees are producing heavy pollen this week, and it will only get worse before it gets better. We’re not even close to peak yet, so start prepping now. You can track pollen levels during weekdays via the City of Houston.

Still a bit blustery today, but Houston prepares for a taste of spring next week

Yesterday was a chilly, breezy day, and we will probably have some more of that today before our weather changes pretty drastically. This will be our last real shot of winter-type weather for some time, as we see at least a temporary shift into spring next week.


Sunshine should dominate today, with at least a few high clouds floating by through the day. Otherwise, look for a continued 10 to 15 mph breeze with gusts to 25 or 30 at times. Winds over the water will be slightly stronger. After a chilly start this morning, look for us to recover into the low-50s this afternoon.

It will be another chilly morning on Saturday! (Pivotal Weather)


Both weekend days look fine, with a chilly Saturday transitioning to a much milder Sunday. For tomorrow, we will have more sun and high clouds but noticeably less wind than yesterday or today. It will be quite a chilly start to the day, but we’ll gradually creep into the mid-50s or so during the afternoon.

Sunday looks milder with morning lows about 5 to 10 degrees warmer (mostly 40s), and a surge of onshore flow leading to highs near 70 or better. Expect continued sun mixed with occasional high clouds.

Monday and Tuesday

We will really notice the return of humidity on these days as dewpoints shoot up into the 60s on steady onshore winds. High temperatures? Warm. Look for 80 or better both days, with morning lows in the 60s.

Spring will have sprung next week with highs in the 80s for several days; Tuesday shown here (Pivotal Weather)

The weather should remain at least partly sunny on both days. There could be a stray shower or some fog on the coast, but winds of 10 to 15 mph or so will help keep the fog from sticking too long I think.

Wednesday through Friday

The forecast remains rather elusive for the back half of next week. The primary problem is that a cold front is likely to stall out and/or dissipate near Houston. If that gets to the coast, we’ll turn notably cooler for a day or so. If that fails to get into the metro area, we’ll continue to see 60s for lows and 70s or 80s for highs. The European model has it slam on the brakes just before getting to Houston’s northwest suburbs. The GFS model pushes it 50 to 100 miles offshore. That’s a *big* difference in potential outcomes.

The setup late next week differs from model to model, with one set pushing the front through Houston and another set keeping it hung up to our north. That means a difference between 50s and 60s or continued 70s and 80s. (Weather Bell)

That also will impact the weather we see, with a cooler outcome leading to clouds and shower chances but a warmer outcome likely leading to AM fog and PM sun, with limited rain chances. Take your pick. Right now, I believe the smart money is on a warmer outcome, but we’ll have to wait and see on that.

As Eric noted yesterday, the remainder of February will probably finish on a mild note. It will probably also finish somewhat drier than normal. We’re still in a La Niña pattern in the Pacific Ocean, so this shouldn’t come as a huge shock, as that is typical for our late winter and spring weather. For those tracking such things, it would seem that the end is near for La Niña by this summer. While what it means for Houston is very much TBD, in general, that might promote better rain chances this summer, with hopefully fewer hurricanes to watch than is typical. We shall see!

A blustery walk into the weekend in Houston

As Eric promised yesterday, winter is not yet over folks. Stepping outside today, you’ll notice it feels a bit more like January perhaps. And while we do have warmer weather on the horizon, it’s pretty evident that winter is not quite ready to pack its bags just yet. At the bottom of today’s post, I’ve got a quick update on a some “polar vortexy” things that may be on your mind.


“Blustery” is the word of the day. Winds are going to pick up this morning, and as temperatures stall a bit later this afternoon in the 50s, you’ll notice a little chill to the air.

Wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph at times today will give the air a bit of a chill, especially later today as temperatures hold mainly in the 50s. (Pivotal Weather)

Northerly wind gusts may exceed 20 to 25 mph at times on land and over 30 mph along the coast (where a wind advisory is posted) and over the water.


Winds will stay up some tonight, and temperatures behind today’s cold front will drop into the 40s and probably the 30s in many spots too. The wild card tonight will be how far west clouds are able to pivot. While they probably won’t have a gigantic impact on what you notice tonight, they will likely mean the difference between 40 to 45 degrees for a nighttime low or 35 to 40 degrees, where skies are clear.

Nighttime lows from the Houston National Weather Service office will be split somewhat east vs. west due to cloud cover, with 30s more likely west of I-45 and 40s more likely to the east. (NWS Houston)


The weekend looks great for any plans you may have. Sunshine will dominate Saturday and Sunday with highs in the mid-50s Saturday and low-60s on Sunday. Morning lows will be in the 30s once more tomorrow night with a light freeze possible in spots north and west of Houston especially.

Next week

The weather is going to be a bit chaotic next week from a pure day to day perspective. In terms of impacts, we don’t see anything too major right now. We have two fronts that look poised to push through the area. The first would come Tuesday after a warm and humid Monday. After a brief cooldown Wednesday, we’d warm up late and into Thursday in time for the next front. Much like today’s front, this one has been flagging a bit of wind with it in various model guidance, so that’s one thing we’ll watch for Thursday afternoon. Behind that front, we’d turn rather chilly Friday and Saturday again. We will sort the details out for you further on Monday.

Stratospheric situation

We are beginning to get some questions about the potential breakdown of the polar vortex over the next couple weeks, with the thesis generally being that as the polar vortex weakens from the top (stratosphere) down (surface), it unloads colder air from the polar regions into mid-latitudes, where most of us live. Or as some misleadingly qualify it: “The polar vortex is coming.”

The catalyst for this would be a sudden warming of temperatures in the stratosphere (or SSW as many of us refer to it). The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang had a good piece on this yesterday with quotes from some experts I follow on social media. It may or may not be paywalled, but the general gist of things is this: There is a sudden warming of the stratosphere over the polar regions, thousands of feet above the surface. It fractures the otherwise stable polar vortex in the stratosphere. A process begins that gradually works its way from the stratosphere into the troposphere (where we live) that could begin a domino effect of perhaps reshuffling the weather pattern in the Northern Hemisphere in such a way that favors colder weather over warmer weather as we head into March.

Temperature anomalies in the stratosphere on day 10 show a lot of warmth over the Arctic. This could begin the process of disrupting the polar vortex and allowing more cold to emerge into Canada and the U.S., but historically these events are tricky to predict. (WeatherBell)

“Could” does not mean “will.” Nothing is guaranteed, as not all SSWs are created equal, and not all of them lead to a configuration supportive of cold in the Central & Eastern U.S. Researchers are still working to fully understand the factors involved in these types of events that happen every few years, so we still have a lot to learn before we can start discussing anything with confidence. In other words, neither Eric or myself or anyone knows if we’ll see some significant colder weather next month. That being said, as we head into next week and the week of the 20th, it will be interesting to see what the models start showing for the pattern over America. We’ll have a decent idea if this SSW has a meaningful impact on cold risks for the country later next week or early the following week I think. So stay tuned, but if you love cold, keep your expectations somewhat in check.

Let there be sun, Houston! Soon.

The last time Bush Airport reported anything other than overcast or broken overcast skies was back on the morning of January 27th. That week-long streak will end at some point today. Most of the area will see at least some sun, if not full sun before the end of the day, and everyone sees sunshine tomorrow. In addition, we’ve gone over 100 straight hours below 50 degrees, not a particularly big deal, but it has certainly been cold and quite damp. That should end today also. All in all, if you have weekend plans, you can confidently go forth with them.


Most of the area remains under low clouds this morning. You have to get east of about Wallisville and Anahuac or west of Flatonia on I-10 to get into clearing.

Satellite as of 7 AM shows that clouds still dominate, but they will lose ground as the day goes on, allowing the sun to take hold. (College of DuPage)

The clouds will erode through the day today, allowing the sun to emerge. I think they’ll probably dissipate from east to west through the morning and afternoon. Areas most likely to stay cloudy most of today are probably west of Houston. Once the clouds diminish, look for temperatures to rebound into the 50s over most of the area. Places that stay under clouds may only get close to 50 degrees. Winds will be light in most spots but perhaps a bit gusty over the open water.


Both Saturday and Sunday should feature more sun than clouds. Winds will flip back onshore on Sunday, which may allow for a few extra clouds. So Saturday will start chilly, with 30s in most of the area, but we should warm to near 60 or so. But Sunday will start in the 40s and warm to near 70 degrees.

Saturday morning low temperatures should bottom out in the 30s in most places away from the immediate coast. (Pivotal Weather)

Just a quick note: Models do predict some fog may develop tonight north and west of about Cypress. Anyone in places like Navasota into Bryan or College Station and north toward Huntsville, just be advised that there could be temperatures at or below freezing with fog. That could make travel a bit slick late tonight and early Saturday morning. Once the sun comes up, it will improve quickly. This should not affect the Houston area.

Early next week

Monday should be partly to mostly sunny and warm. You’ll notice a little more humidity creeping back through the day, and there may even be some patchy fog development on the coast. Most places will top off in the 70s. Tuesday should be even warmer despite more clouds, with AM lows in the 60s and daytime highs around 75 or a few better in spots. Again, some fog is possible along the coast.

Next front

Consistent with Eric’s post yesterday, it looks like we can pencil in the next front for Tuesday night or Wednesday. The timing and details still need to be sorted out, but at this point we are looking for showers and storms in some window between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, followed by cooler, drier air to close out next week. Or at least that’s the line of thinking we’re going to sell to you today. Some models bring back rain chances as soon as Friday, so we’ll see. More on Monday!

Rest of Texas

Interior Texas can continue to thaw out today and begin to assess and repair the damage left behind from this week’s ice storm. There are still nearly 250,000 customers without power across the state. If you plan to travel toward Dallas or Austin or San Antonio or El Paso, road conditions should be clear today through the weekend. As always, check with drivetexas.org for the latest information.