Fall’s first real front may finally be on the horizon, and it’s coming very late this year

Good morning. Houston faces at least another week of very warm, late summer weather with fairly low rain chances. However, the big news is that we’re finally starting to see the likelihood of the season’s first real cool front on the horizon. First, the caveats. It’s still about 10 days out, so a lot can happen. Our ability to forecast weather accurately only goes out to 7 to 10 days. However, the signal for this front (see below) is fairly strong. I’ll put it this way: I think the odds of seeing a pretty decent front are better than 50-50 at this point.

Another reason for some hope: It’s time. If we define a front as the fall season’s first day with a temperature of 65 degrees or below, Houston typically sees its first front sometime between the first week of September, and the first week of October. In records dating to 1889, there have been just 14 instances in which the season’s first front arrived on or after October 1, so about a 10 percent chance in any given year. The latest of these came in 1904, when the front was delayed until October 13. This year is going to be close to that, but right now we’re on track for the period from October 7 to 10—so just in time.

Today will be unseasonably hot across the Houston metro area. (Weather Bell)


Fall will feel a long ways away today, however. As high pressure more or less takes control of our weather, we’re going to continue to see high temperatures generally in the mid-90s across the region today, and for awhile. Yesterday we saw some fairly strong thunderstorms develop near Katy, and some isolated or scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible again this afternoon or early evening. The most likely areas will be close to the coast. Skies will otherwise be mostly sunny, with light easterly winds. Lows tonight will drop into the mid-70s.


Did you like Thursday’s weather? Good, because Friday is pretty much the same.

Saturday and Sunday

We’re not going to see much change in our weather this weekend, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-90s. Rain chances will, again, be on the order of 20 percent, with the highest odds near the coast. However, by Saturday the flow will turn a bit more northeasterly, and this should bring some slightly drier air into the picture. It won’t be much, but by Sunday morning it should start to may thinks feel a bit more comfortable.

Both the GFS model (left) and European model have a fairly strong signal for a front in about 10 days. Use the slider to compare. (Weather Bell)

Next week

We’re going to remain warm for most of next week, with highs likely in the vicinity of the mid-90s. However, the overall pattern may favor the influx of some tropical moisture, and this may bring some slightly better rain chances into the forecast by Wednesday, or so. By next weekend is when we’ll be looking for a cold front to arrive. I kind of hate to write about this, because I don’t want to be accused of being a tease. But the reality is that this is the strongest signal we’ve seen for fall’s first front, and the upper air pattern does appear to support its passage. So am I guaranteeing a front? No. I am rather hopeful? Yes. If it doesn’t come, can we all simply agree to blame Matt?

33 thoughts on “Fall’s first real front may finally be on the horizon, and it’s coming very late this year”

  1. I cannot enlarge this graph and I do not have a magnifying glass so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed on this cool front

  2. To be honest, I can’t remember any recent cool Halloween nights in quite awhile. Of course, I could have been addled by candy, but I just remember the humidity and 80 degrees.

    • I know there have been exceptions certainly, but I can tell you I moved here in 1959 at the age of 3 and every memory I have of Trick or Treating involved sweating and mosquitos. I also think my daughter would agree. I do remember many cool, windy, cloudy fall days but those were probably November or Winter, lol. This thing in 2 weeks is just gonna be a few degrees cooler and only last until we blink. Frankly, I’m tired of getting my hopes up.

      • Interesting! The moms seem to remember Halloween evenings a bit differently… lol… I think wrangling sweaty kiddos with candy does create “feel like” temps over 80+.

      • Ride on. I didn’t see your post here and also made a comment below on the 29 at IAH in 1993. Sorry.

  3. I’m imagining an evil laugh by summer “Seasonal change in Houston? Ha! There is no escape…I own you!”

  4. Story of the entire summer. High pressure. Going to be HOT but some relief on the horizon. That horizon keeps moving away.

  5. “The latest of these came in 1904, when the front was delayed until October 13. This year is going to be close to that, but right now we’re on track for the period from October 7 to 10—so just in time.”

    I for one am shocked that the Summer of Hades also resulted in nearly breaking the latest first cool front record. Shocked!

  6. I would like to know how many times in Houston’s climatological history that our city failed to see any temperature below 70 degrees at Hobby or Downtown (older records). I bet there aren’t many, but September 2023 sure is shaping up to be one of these rare “Heatful” (full of heat) anomalies. I can only recall 2 of these in the past. I don’t even need a 65F Fall Day to be happy, I’ll take a mere 69F just to keep me hopeful!

  7. Wow. So on a dime we could turn from Happy Fall Day to Blame Matt Day. Here’s hoping Matt comes through unscathed.

  8. Every year when the first cool front gets predicted, it always fizzles out, and Houston gets nothing in the way of cooler/drier air. My expectations are close to zero, but I certainly hope I’m wrong.

  9. This is probably a silly question that I’ll likely regret asking, but when you say a day of 65 degrees, does that reference a high or a low temperature? Thank you!

  10. Whilst it would be lovely to have seasons in Houston again – we used to have them – I could tolerate higher temps if only there was adequate rain as well. But highs and dries do not an acceptable climate make.

  11. It was absurdly hot today. I don’t even have to look at the thermometer. It’s downright depressing. Almost October and it feels like August. My son is going to school in Seattle, said it didn’t even make it to 60 degrees up there today.

  12. First-Absurdly hot is right. Sigh.I wish the “no more triple digits” afew weeks ago meant heat indexes too. My weather app in Jersey Village says feels like 105. BUT I’m still THANKFUL for the encouraging news, gentlemen!! Cmon Fall, we need you! =D

  13. I’m sorry that I overlooked the Halloween of 1993. The low then on Oct 30 was 35 and then the low on Halloween was a record 29.

  14. I don’t remember any cool Halloween nights and I’m 61! Maybe I blocked that out! It’s the humidity though! We love our mild winters here so I’m excited for that! Keep teasing us and we can always just blame Matt!

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