Fantastic Friday before mixed results this weekend

Quick note: If you were woken up by or heard/felt an explosion this morning, you were one of many. There was indeed an explosion northwest of Houston near the intersection of Gessner and Clay Road. This is just south of 290 and east of the Beltway. As is often the case in situations like this, weather radar picked up the actual explosion or fire.

I’ve seen people as far away as Clear Lake hearing the explosion. We send our best to readers in that part of the area that may be cleaning up this morning. An unfortunate morning northwest of Houston.

On to weather, we are back into a really nice pattern today, but we do have a couple minor issues to discuss for the weekend.

Today

Friday should be a beautiful day with sun, light winds, and highs reaching into about the mid 60s.

Saturday

While I believe we will start out with sunshine, high clouds should begin moving into the region in the morning. The day will get progressively cloudier from there. Clouds thicken up in the afternoon, and at least a slight chance of light rain or some showers will begin by late afternoon. The best chance for seeing some of that rain during the daytime hours will be south of Houston, particularly from Freeport south through Matagorda Bay. Most areas north of Houston will likely remain dry during the daytime Saturday. Temperatures will warm from the mid or upper 40s in the morning to the mid 60s or so in the afternoon.

Saturday night & Sunday

From Saturday evening through Sunday morning, it will be fairly dreary across the region. Look for periods of mostly light rain and showers. A brief period of heavier rain cannot be entirely ruled out, especially along the coast. So if you placed an “X” over downtown Houston, areas to the south and east of there have the chance to see some higher rain totals. Inland from Houston, the odds drop off for seeing anything heavy.

Rain totals from Saturday night and Sunday should be manageable, although a few areas southeast of Houston may see higher amounts than shown here. (NWS via Weather Bell)

Regardless, no serious flooding is expected, and rainfall totals should be manageable across the vast majority of the region. It will just be a fairly dreary Saturday night and Sunday.

Sunday afternoon may see some clearing, but, similar to what we saw yesterday, I have a feeling that will be stubborn to settle in across the region until very late or at night. We should still see temperatures warm into the upper 60s or so after beginning the day in the 50s.

Monday through Wednesday

Next week will start off lovely, with perhaps some patchy fog Monday morning giving way to sunshine. Clouds increase on Monday night and Tuesday ahead of a quick moving cold front that is going to bring showers or some thunderstorms at some point during the day. We will refine that timing on Monday. The region should clear out quickly on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. High temperatures should be in the 60s to around 70°, with low temperatures generally in the 50s through Wednesday.

Is winter over?

One question I have seen from readers is whether or not winter is over for us in Southeast Texas. To be clear, it’s January 24th, so we still have a month and change to go here. The reality is that the next couple weeks at least look void of any serious winter conditions.

The NOAA 8 to 14 day temperature outlook from Thursday shows odds favoring milder than normal temperatures across much of the Lower 48. (NOAA)

By that I mean freeze risks or windy days where we struggle to get above 50 degrees. In the last 30 years, our latest freeze has occurred as late as March 21st (1996). Even last year we had a freeze as late as March 6th. Beyond the next couple of weeks, I don’t personally see anything that would suggest we suddenly turn really cold and wintry here into mid-February, but that does not mean it cannot happen.

So the short summary is: No, winter is not over here, but as of today, there are very few signs of any sustained cold, wintry weather through at least early or mid-February.

12 thoughts on “Fantastic Friday before mixed results this weekend

  1. Robert

    I heard the BOOM at 4:24 a.m., which shook the windows/garage door – and I live in Timber Creek, adjacent to and immediately north of Spring Valley. I thought perhaps my new gas water heater exploded.

  2. Brian

    Matt, can you explain how an explosion like that shows up on the radar? I saw something posted on twitter showing that at the moment of the explosion, it appears on radar. Just wanted to know from a curiosity standpoint.

    Oh and thank you for all that you do!

    1. Matt Lanza

      Radar was picking up smoke after the explosion. Radar has the ability to detect particles in smoke rather easily. It’s the same idea as raindrops: The beam hits something, which sends a message back to the radar that something is there, so it shows up as “precipitation,” when in reality it’s particulates or whatever in smoke. It’s why you often see marsh fires show up easily on radar on the coast or why during large multi-alarm blazes, you see those show up on radar. Radar can detect all kinds of weird stuff: Bugs, birds, buildings, even traffic on roadways if the beam is reflected back to the surface under certain conditions in the atmosphere.

  3. Cris

    Felt the rumble and heard the explosion this morning in Clear Lake. I was up already, and ran to see what had ‘hit’ my garage door. Crazy how far that impact was felt.

  4. Becky

    I heard that explosion too. I am in the Heights. As for winter, I love this time of year here. Having grown up and and lived in Michigan most of my life I know how harsh winter can truly be. And thanks guys for all you do. I tell people to check you guys out all the time and I look forward to reading you posts each day!

  5. Jason

    That explosion must have been huge. Here in the Heights area, my dog started barking and cats started meowing at 4:20 AM, this woke me up, and I could still hear the distant rumbling of the explosion. I thought it was thunder, but skies were clear. The sound lasted several seconds.

    Winter isn’t over yet, for sure, but this winter has been mild, and I’m grateful. It saves a lot of money on bills.

  6. AB

    The earth-shattering kaboom woke me up at Dairy Ashford and Briar Forest. At first I thought it was the garbage truck but realized it was too early (and too loud) for that.

  7. Jennifer

    There was an explosion 1-2 weeks ago felt around Alvin, Pearland, Clear Lake, League City. I really wish there was an explanation for these explosions.

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