Cold November rain today, and a big weather-space anniversary

Good morning! We’re kicking off our 2019 fundraiser today—accepting donations, and selling t-shirts, sweatshirts, and umbrellas to support this site.

Our goal with Space City Weather is to provide a place for anyone living in the greater Houston area to find sensible information about weather forecasts without hype or nonsense. We don’t always get every forecast right, but we sure try, and we’re there whenever the weather matters to Houston. The site will always be free, and your contributions are most welcome to compensate Matt and me for our time, and server expenses to keep the site lightning fast. We also have a couple of exciting plans for 2020 that you’ll be supporting.

When you go to the fundraiser site there are three choices: An umbrella, and two collections of t-shirts with the designs below. One design celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and the other highlights the region’s awful September weather. Click on any of the campaigns to make your selections, or just use the donate-only button. We truly appreciate your support during this fundraiser, which will last through the end of November.

2019 fundraiser t-shirt designs.

Thursday

Speaking of space, today marks perhaps the most significant weather moment in NASA’s history. On this date in 1969, lightning struck the Saturn V rocket about 36 seconds into the flight of the second human mission to the surface of the Moon. A flight controller named John Aaron saved the mission with a command so obscure that commander Pete Conrad did not recognize it: “Flight, EECOM. Try SCE to Aux.” Read more here.

While Houston won’t see much lightning today, there should be plenty of overcast skies and mostly light to moderate rainfall as moisture pushes in from the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t have any flooding concerns, but this will be a gloomy day with highs in the upper 40s and on-and-off rain until around sunset. It will be, dare I say it, a cold November rain? This evening a reinforcing cool front should push through the region and dry out the atmosphere.

Friday and Saturday

The aforementioned front will keep things cool and dry for most of the weekend. Both Friday and Saturday mornings should start out in the mid 30s to low 40s (a freeze is possible in some parts of Montgomery and Liberty counties), and both days should see highs of around 60 degrees. Skies will be mostly sunny.

Saturday morning will be quite cold across Houston. (Weather Bell)

Sunday

The second half of the weekend may be slightly warmer, with highs possibly pushing into the mid-60s and a weak onshore flow picks back up. Some slight rain chances return to the forecast Sunday night with the likely passage of another front, but since there won’t be much moisture to work with, overall chances remain quite low.

Next week

The first half of next week should be quite nice, with relatively dry air, highs in the low 70s and nights in the mid-50s. The onshore flow will pick back up by Wednesday or so, with warming into the mid-70s possible after that as well as the return of our old friend humidity—have we already forgotten what that is? Anyway, there’s no clear cut evidence of the next front to bring an end to this humidity, but one may be in the cards by around next Saturday. But that’s a week and a half from now, so we’re rapidly approaching shrug emoji territory with such a forecast.

27 thoughts on “Cold November rain today, and a big weather-space anniversary

  1. lee

    Details on that “SCE to Aux” call, if anyone’s interested: “SCE” is the “Signal Conditioning Equipment,” a piece of gear that took in all the raw electrical sense outputs from all the spacecraft’s systems and converted (“conditioned”) the signals into the correct format for transmission to the ground, so that they could be read by Mission Control. The lightning strike closed breakers on the Command & Service module and disconnected the spacecraft’s fuel cells from the main busses, leaving the CM on battery power. The reduction in power affected many systems, including the SCE. Since the SCE wasn’t functioning, the spacecraft was effectively transmitting gibberish telemetry and Mission Control found themselves unable to see the status of any of the spacecraft’s systems.

    The “SCE to Aux” switch flipped the SCE into a low-power mode that enabled it to function on the available battery power. This restored the telemetry feeds, which allowed Mission Control to actually see what was going on and start resolving problems.

    The incident was dramatized with a pretty high degree of accuracy in the HBO mini From the Earth to the Moonyou can watch the clip here.

    1. Margarita

      Thank you for sharing the Mission Control “SCR to Aux” incident… was a fascinating piece of aeronautical history!

    2. Carl

      The podcast Sidedoor most recent episode is about this. With audio of the commands made during the launch, interviews, and anecdotes about the crew.

    3. Monty

      Thanks Ice. Nice info and very interesting. Eric/Matt…wife gets back today so we go over sale items and make our purchase. Thanks always guys and everyone on this blog. One of the best places I go every day.

  2. Larry Eastepp

    Great article on Mission Control. Today, young people just don’t have the heroes to look up to like my generation had with the Gemini and Apollo astronauts and their great support teams in Mission Control.

    1. jrhayes85

      I don’t know that that’s a fair assessment. Perhaps there is not as much coverage so the names may not be known, but young people are still finding science heroes. Stephanie Wilson doing CapCom for Jessica Meir and Christina Koch doing the all-woman spacewalk was pretty cool. Greta Thunberg is a remarkable young woman. There are many others, if you take the time to look.

  3. Debra

    Would like to order the fundraiser tshirt. But can’t find it on the link. Can you direct me to the correct link please? Keep up the great work!

  4. Dan Shedd

    Thanks for all you do SPCW. I don’t see the sweatshirts on the fundraising website? Just the umbrellas and t-shirts, even if I read this site on occasion!

    1. Judy

      Dan Shedd — each T-shirt design link takes you to a separate page that lists many different options for that design, including various colors, and sweatshirts.

  5. Milt

    Apollo 12 lightning strike during launch…MCC Flight Controller John Aaron & his backroom support Jim Kelly made the greatest real-time call ever made during powered-flight…truly saved the mission…they were blind, no data, making the call to restore data in only 50 seconds where they could see the fuel cells providing electrical power were off line and needed to be reconnected…they followed one of the ideals of Mission Control, “To always be aware that, suddenly and unspectedly, we may find ourselves in a role where our performance has ultimate consequences.”

  6. Carmen A. Costa

    I am a resident of Puerto Rico and my daughter is a Houstonian. Your site brought me sanity during Harvey and I “adopted” you since then. Thank u so much for giving us the facts in your special “don’t panic but do what must be done” way.

  7. cg37

    Can I just donate via Palpal? I’d love to support you but don’t necessarily want anything in return.

    1. Lisa H

      Just click on any item like you are going to buy it. Eventually you will come to the screen where you have the choice to either purchase or donate. I was able to just donate as I don’t want anything in return either.

  8. Judy Myers

    The donation web site got me stuck in a loop in which I clicked “Continue” only to be returned to the same page. The Chat connected me to a donation specialist who suggested I “use another device” and when I asked what that meant she gave me a response that showed she completely didn’t understand the issue. Can I just mail you a check?

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