A wet Friday, a blustery Saturday, and a chilly Sunday morning, but the 80s are in sight

Summary: A mostly gentle rain is expected for most of the Houston area today, with the steadiest falling near the coast or down toward Matagorda Bay. A cold front will usher in a blustery overnight and Saturday with temperatures dropping into the 40s, before a spectacular Sunday and Monday. We’ll likely be talking 80s by midweek next week.

Before we get into things today, I want to give a shoutout to the second graders at Creekview Elementary up in Tomball. I got to visit them yesterday and answer all their weather questions, most of which happened to be about tornadoes! Some bright kiddos, and a thank you to Kristin Pesz, Tiffany Major, and the rest of the second grade teachers for having me out and for a couple special gifts!

Alright, let’s jump into the forecast.


We’ll end the week on a wet note. This looks like the rare Houston steady rain that doesn’t dump all at once. This should be a rather gentle light to perhaps moderate rain most of the time in our area. Most of the area should see at least some rain, but the odds drop off, ahem, precipitously north of Highway 105.

Additional rainfall expected today into tomorrow. The highest amounts will be near Matagorda Bay and on the coast. (Pivotal Weather)

Areas south of Houston will see the most rain, which is to say a half-inch to inch perhaps, with the highest amounts down near Matagorda Bay. For Houston, totals will probably range from a few hundredths of an inch up near Conroe to a quarter to half inch south of I-10. Temperatures won’t move much today, with 60s this morning, increasing just a few degrees this afternoon.

Late tonight & Saturday

It will not be until about midnight or so, give or take an hour or two that we notice a big time change. A cold front will hit, which should taper any rain off to drizzle mostly. But behind it, fairly potent north winds will usher in cold air. Look for gusts of 20 to 30mph, stronger on the coast or near the Bay. And temperatures will probably hold steady in the mid to upper 40s at best. It will remain mostly cloudy with a few showers or some light rain around through the day, particularly south or east of Houston.

Sunday morning will be much less windy, but it will also be quite chilly, with frost or a light freeze possible, especially north and west of Houston. (Pivotal Weather)


Winds calm down Saturday night, and Sunday will dawn calm and chilly. Look for lows in the 30s over a good chunk of the region. But Sunday’s daytime looks absolutely stellar, with temperatures rebounding well into the 50s to perhaps near 60 in spots. Oh, and it’ll be sunny. Definitely one to enjoy!

Presidents’ Day

Monday looks fantastic, with sunshine, morning lows in the 40s, and daytime highs near 70 degrees. Another stellar day.

Rest of next week

The warm up does not stop there. We will continue to add a little humidity and warmer temperatures Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I expect highs to hit the upper 70s Tuesday, and 80 or better Wednesday and Thursday. Current model guidance from the National Blend of Models (NBM) suggests at least a 50 to 60 percent chance of 80 or better on both Wednesday and Thursday. Lows will bump up into the 50s to near 60 degrees perhaps by Thursday.

There’s at least a 50 to 60 percent chance we hit or exceed 80 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday according to the National Blend of Models. Wednesday’s forecast temps are shown here. (Pivotal Weather)

No real meaningful shower chances are expected right now, but this warm pattern may allow for some sea fog in Galveston or along the bayshore. A cold front should nudge through the area Friday, allowing for cooler, dry weather next weekend but nothing too excessive. We’re probably looking at 40s and 50s for lows and 60s or 70s for highs. More on that next week.

Showers stymie Houston’s Saturday, with a proper soaking lurking not very far away

Summary: An area of heavy rain is expected to setup just northwest of Houston on Saturday, while the rest of the area sees mostly scattered showers. Exactly where this sets up will mean the difference between a washout and some nuisance showers. No serious flooding concerns are expected. Another wave of rain passes to our north on Sunday before cooler, drier weather builds in Monday. Most of next week looks quiet before we watch, sigh, more rain risk next weekend.


Expect a mix of clouds and maybe a touch of sun today. Some coastal fog may drift in and out through the day, so if you’re down in Galveston be aware of that. Otherwise, much like yesterday a few showers should float across the area today, so you may encounter a brief downpour or two through the day. This seems likeliest north of Houston. Highs should again be in the mid-70s.

There will be a sharp gradient within the Houston metro area between a few inches of rain and less than an inch of rain, with the most likely area to see heavier rain just north and west of the city. (Pivotal Weather)


Time to plan around another wet weekend. At this point it appears that showers will begin to break out just before sunrise south of Houston and lift northward through the city in the early daylight hours. By mid to late morning, we will be watching for basically a conga line of rain and thunderstorms to establish somewhere in the area along a stalled frontal boundary.

Admittedly, this is a little tricky. Stalled fronts can be a royal pain to try and pin down, but the best data we have at this point says that this line of rain and storms will predominantly focus north and west of downtown Houston. Where will that be? The axis from Sealy through Magnolia through Conroe through Lake Livingston is probably the most likely corridor to see this heavier rain. As of this moment. Could that shift south and east some? Absolutely. Could it shift further north and west away from the area? Absolutely. Under that axis it will be close to a washout. A few miles difference in location could change Saturday’s outcome for a few hundred thousand people. No biggie. So it’s a forecast to watch. But look for that to establish by late morning.

Outside of that somewhat narrow axis, there will be scattered showers or rumbles of thunder. But the day will not be a washout. Galveston for Mardi Gras? Mostly fine. Most areas south of Houston will just see a few passing showers.

The areas that see the mostly stationary line of rainfall will probably see on the order of 1 to 3 inches. Those outside of that will see varying amounts from a quarter to half-inch or so. Look for a sharp gradient between the have-lots and have-nots. Flooding should be mostly just ponding and the usual trouble spots seeing water. Still, be careful if you are driving north and west of Downtown on Saturday.

Aside from rainfall, Saturday should be a mild day with temperatures in the 60s under the rain and low-70s away from the dreariness.

Some stronger thunderstorms are possible later Saturday and into Sunday, primarily well north of Houston, where a slight risk (level 2/5) is in place for Huntsville, Lake Livingston, and Lufkin. (NOAA)


Additional rain or showers will skirt the area on Sunday. Most of this is expected to remain to the north of the Houston metro, so think like College Station through Huntsville or out toward Lufkin. Some thunderstorms embedded in that rain could be strong, and a slight risk (level 2/5) for severe weather exists for Huntsville, Lake Livingston, and Lufkin. Amounts of rain should be more modest Sunday with perhaps up to an inch or so under the heaviest rain and a half-inch or less in most other places. It’s possible that Houston and points south of I-10 see little to nothing on Sunday. Most places should start in the 60s and get one final day in the 70s before next week’s cooler weather.


After several warmer days this week and weekend, Monday will be a bit of a stark change. We should see a good deal of sunshine Monday, but with a chilly, gusty northwest wind pulling down cooler air, we’ll only top off in the mid-50s after a morning in the 40s.

Tuesday through Thursday

Temperatures will bounce back into the 60s on Tuesday and perhaps upper 60s by Wednesday or Thursday. Morning lows will be in the 30s and 40s Tuesday, 40s Wednesday, and 50s Thursday. No meaningful weather is expected, and we’ll probably a mix of sun and clouds most days.

Beyond Thursday

At this point I think Friday will be quiet, but there is growing potential for another decent rainmaker next weekend. Yes, confidence in another wet weekend is increasing.

Our region has been highlighted by the Climate Prediction Center for potentially heavy rain next weekend. (NOAA)

When we’re forecasting this far out, particularly with respect to rainfall, we’re just looking for signals, not specifics. But the signal for next weekend has been consistent for the last few days in suggesting rain. We’ll see how that evolves over the next few days. But if you have plans next Saturday or Sunday, I invite you to lodge a formal protest with Eric. We’ll have more on those chances Monday.

No, the polar vortex is not coming to devour Texas, but winter is probably not yet over

At least 422* times per winter (*approximately), the question of whether “the polar vortex is coming” seems to come up. The sources are many: Rogue social mediarologists who want engagement, well-intentioned meteorologists who are just trying to explain something but the wrong takeaway gets amplified, not-well-intentioned meteorologists who can’t help themselves, and weather enthusiasts who are misinterpreting model guidance.

“An image of a map featuring an abominable snowman devouring Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.” (ChatGPT)

We are in one of those phases now, so is the polar vortex coming for us again like it (sort of) did in January?

Just to get the science lesson quickly out of the way: Recall that the polar vortex is always there. It’s a permanent feature that typically sits over the North Pole, keeping the hemisphere’s coldest air in the polar region. When we refer to the “polar vortex,” what we’re really referring to is the stratospheric polar vortex, which sits miles above the North Pole but keeps the cold locked in. During the wintertime, every so often something will happen where that cold can be dislodged and dumped into the mid-latitudes leading to cold air outbreaks over the North America, Europe, or Asia. How does that happen? Periodically, you’ll get a warming event in the stratosphere that eventually works downward, first displacing or splitting the polar vortex and then leading to high latitude atmospheric blocking that warms the Arctic and sends cold south. This is what can unleash some of that more noteworthy cold air.

A visual representation of the polar vortex when it’s stable (left) and disrupted (right). (NOAA)

The process is really complicated and fairly often, stratospheric warming does not lead to significant polar vortex disruption. But almost every time there is a warming event, you now hear about it because of what I noted in the opening paragraph.

So what is happening now?

If you look at the forecast weather map today, you can see a pretty anti-winter look in the Eastern half of the country, with very mild air from Hudson Bay south to the Gulf. The West is stormy. Most of the cold is up near Alaska or Siberia and over Scandinavia.

Today’s upper air map showing the pattern at 20,000 feet with a large ridge of high pressure stretching from Hudson Bay south to the Gulf, keeping any cold in the West and any strong cold over higher latitudes. (Tropical Tidbits)

Over the next 10 days or so, this pattern is going to change rather dramatically. The ridging in place from Hudson Bay to the Gulf will weaken. The pretty neutral pattern from Alaska through the Arctic to Greenland is going to block up and warm. This will allow cold to displace back southward into lower latitudes in North America. The real serious cold is probably going to go on the other side of the globe, dumping into Russia and portions of Central Asia. One way to proxy this is to look at the Arctic Oscillation (AO). In a nutshell, the AO is a barometer for high latitude blocking over the Arctic. It’s far more complicated than just using one index to determine the fate of the weather. But in situations like this, it can help.

A forecast (and this winter’s history) of the Arctic Oscillation, projected to turn sharply negative over the next two weeks. (NOAA)

What does it tell us? When the AO is positive, it generally indicates that the Arctic will be cold. It can be assumed most of the time that the polar vortex is sort of in place, in its home over the North Pole. When the AO turns negative, it tends to mean that something has happened in the Arctic that leads to milder conditions and a weaker polar vortex, allowing cold to meander away from the North Pole and toward the populous mid-latitudes. Notice on the chart above that back in mid-January, we had a negative AO, which led to the cold outbreak. Also notice that not every negative AO produces excessive cold! We had a pretty strong bout of negative Arctic Oscillation conditions back in early December, which coincided with Houston’s most recent 80 degree day. We did turn colder after that day, but not excessively so.

Anyway, the AO is forecast to go negative, strongly so around mid-February. This gets a lot of meteorologists’ attention, and justifiably so. It’s a strong signal for strong blocking in the polar region. And indeed, if you look at the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for days 8 through 14, it shows colder than normal temps forecast over a broad portion of the Lower 48.

The 8 to 14 day outlook calls for moderate confidence that below normal temperatures will extend from the East Coast back across Texas and into the Rockies. (NOAA CPC)

Now, this map is plenty cold for sure. But it’s also moderate confidence. In other words, we’re not super confident in major cold right now. This meteorologist would say we are moderately confident in moderate cold. Frankly, modeling has been a little underwhelming with respect to the cold in mid-February. Some of the modeling that picked up on the ferocity of the January cold early on is not exactly doing so now, though it is forecasting cold. So at this point at least, a repeat of a January 2024-like cold outbreak in Texas seems like a longshot. But it’s going to be cold, and no, we cannot rule out a another (modest) freeze before winter ends.

This setup may be more interesting for the Southeast, particularly with a lot of moisture getting pumped in from California again. If you could perhaps combine some of that moisture into a well-timed low pressure system in the Southeast with some meaningful cold air, we could see some wintry weather in the South or Mid-Atlantic somewhere through late month.

Rain and storms overnight give way to a decent Saturday afternoon and a windy Sunday

Summary: Dense fog this morning will give way to some clearing. Rain arrives tonight, heavy at times after midnight and early Saturday morning. Thunder and lightning are likely, and a couple storms could be strong to severe. After an inch or two of rain and some ponding, we’ll see much nicer weather Saturday afternoon, followed by a windy Sunday. Some cooler weather arrives early next week.

Also, we’re going through one of those phases like in December where we have had enough high clouds to occasionally allow for spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

You can always email us or message us photos on Instagram or Twitter or whatnot!


We’ve got a generally nice, calm day ahead. There is some dense fog this morning, so through about 9 AM or so, you may need to contend with that. Tomball visibility is a quarter-mile as I write this, as is Conroe, Wharton, and Colorado County. So give yourself a minute or two extra getting out the door. Otherwise, we’ll see sun and clouds with highs in the low to mid-70s today and a bit of humidity. Clouds become a little more common later, and some showers may begin as early as sunset.

Tonight and Saturday

Look for rain to become a little more persistent or heavier after midnight tonight. Periods of rain and embedded thunderstorms will continue overnight into Saturday morning, and most of it will actually be done before Noon tomorrow. We may even see a return to sunshine tomorrow afternoon.

Anywhere from an inch or two should fall on average across the area overnight and Saturday morning. No serious flooding is expected, but watch for ponding on roads tomorrow morning. (Pivotal Weather)

In terms of rain totals, most will see 1 to 2 inches on average. The Matagorda Bay and Corpus Christi areas will probably see less than that. But this will be another healthy rainmaker for most of the region. We don’t expect much in the way of severe weather right now, but a storm or two could become strong to severe early Saturday. The main issue would be strong winds briefly in those storms. We’ll probably have a fair bit of lightning and thunder though.

Low temps tonight will dip into the low-60s, with highs tomorrow in the 70s. Overall, your morning plans will be dicey tomorrow, but the afternoon looks perfectly fine we think.

Sunday and Monday

Both Sunday and Monday should see a good deal of sunshine, though a few extra clouds may pepper the sky Monday. The big thing you’ll notice are winds and cooler temperatures. Highs will be in the 60s on Sunday and lower-60s Monday, with lows in the 40s and 50s. So we take a step back cooler here. But the wind will be whipping a bit on Sunday. Look for west to northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts to 30 mph or a bit stronger. Monday should be calmer, though there will be lingering wind over the water.

Tuesday morning will have a little chill in the air with 40s in most spots. (Pivotal Weather)

Rest of next week

After a cool start to the week, we’ll warm back up later next week with temps back into the 70s by Wednesday or Thursday. Our next chance at rain probably arrives next Thursday or Friday. It does appear that a generally wet pattern is expected heading into the second week of the forecast.

It is expected to be generally wetter than normal heading into mid-February, but it’s too soon to say exactly how that will play out. (NOAA)

Exactly what it means is TBD, as these are probabilistic maps, which say that the forecast leans above normal. But in general, it looks like next Friday or Saturday-ish will be our next decent chance at rain. We continue to get questions about mid-month cold chances. As of now, we don’t think anything significant will impact Texas, but we’ll keep watching.