Houston just had its coldest night since 1996

It’s an icebox out there, folks. After Tuesday night’s precipitation, skies cleared out from north to south, and shortly after midnight many areas saw stars. This, in conjunction with very cold Arctic air, brought the low in Huntsville down to 13 degrees this morning, as of 7am CT. Most of central Houston saw temperatures from 18 to 20 degrees. Even Galveston, our balmy, tropical Galveston with its lovely palm trees, fell to 25 degrees. The following map shows temperatures across Texas this morning.

Wednesday temperatures at 7am CT. (Weather.us)

It does not appear as though Houston will set a record low temperature for today (which is 15 degrees, set in 1930). However, this is the coldest it has been in the city since January, 1996, and the region has not registered a colder temperature since Dec. 24, 1989.

Wednesday

Area roadways remain a mess. Although some roads have dried out from Tuesday’s precipitation, ice remains a problem across the city—mostly on bridges and overpasses. As of 7am, Houston Transtar reports 137 areas of ice on roadways, and these are only the major thoroughfares. Sunny skies today will help the process of sublimating ice on roads, and by noon temperatures should reach above freezing for most of the metro area. Until then, travel will be dicey through the area. Check your route before you leave home. By this afternoon roads should be clear.

Highs today will reach the mid- to upper 30s before another cold night with lows around 20 north of the city, in the mid-20s in Houston, and near freezing along the coast.

Thursday

A bit warmer, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 40s. There’s a chance areas far inland see a freeze Thursday night, but most of the area should be in the clear.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Warmer weather finally returns to Houston. No, really. The onshore flow reestablishes itself, and we’ll see high temperatures climb from about 60 degrees on Friday to around 70 on Sunday. Overnight low temperatures will be in the 50s. The weekend should also largely be a gray affair, with mostly cloudy skies and a chance of scattered showers and a few thunderstorms. I don’t think we’re going to see significant accumulations—probably a half an inch of rain or less for most—but it wouldn’t hurt to carry an umbrella with you as showers pop up.

The early forecast for next week looks really nice. (Weather Bell)

Next week

A moderate cool front arrives later on Sunday, and this should set the stage for pleasant, winter-like weather for most of next week. How does highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s, with mostly dry days sound?

18 thoughts on “Houston just had its coldest night since 1996

  1. Blackhawks Fan

    Highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s sounds, ah, NORMAL?

    Temperature just clicked up here to 21.2 F, from a low of 21.1 F.

    And yes, the people up north are laughing at us. They stop when I mention it will be 70 here Saturday.

    1. lee

      We’ll laugh back at them in the summer when their temps hit 90F and they start panicking about their “life threatening heat wave.”

    1. Dee

      I hope but mosquitos here seem to be resilient. I saw one flying around just 2 days after our last hard freeze.

  2. Henny van Dijk

    when I bought my home in Dec. 1983, the temp on Christmas Day was I believe 10 F. and several pipes in my attic bursted, while the ARS company ( had a different name at that time) got fined because of price gouging. So if the lowest was in 1989 what was the actual temp in 1983?

    1. Dave

      I didn’t remember the year, but I had a broken pipe then too. The problem then was the temperature didn’t get above freezing for 3 days straight. Every plumber in town had a 2-week waiting list. I was lucky. I got mine fixed after about a week. I’d like to know what the low was then too.

  3. AL

    “How does highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s, with mostly dry days sound?”

    If it leads to sounds of a toddler playing outside it is music to our ears!!

  4. Robin

    Can not wait for some normal temperatures here! Just like the rain from Harvey being more in 2 days than in 6 months combined, the month of cold temps we have had are more than a few years combined. Bye bye cold temps! ❄

  5. david john

    when i got up this morning the temp difference between Bemidji (in northern Minnesota and Houston was 6 degrees (13 and 19). Then we are finally on a warming trend

  6. Jason

    This is unreal. Metro buses are not running at all today, the temperature is going up to nearly 40 today, and right now, at my house is 36. It’s above freezing roads are not especially treacherous. I guess I am riding my bicycle to work. There is no water working in my bathroom, the heat in my old, crummy house can only heat it to about 59 degrees. The people who complain about the heat and wish for cold weather need to stop, because, clearly, they can’t handle it, can’t drive in it, and act like an overnight low of 25 degrees is the end of the world. Plus, the city is built and designed for a warmer climate. There is no other major city in the US that would have its buses shut down for weather like this.

    1. -T

      Yes, because spending money to fend off one snow day every two years is just a brilliant as Bemidji installing A/Cs in all their classrooms for the day it’s over 90.

      1. Jason

        Well, I would imagine that the bus fleet could be fitted with snow chains for perhaps $100,000, which is a pittance to any government. Not to get into politics, but the city could raise this money by many avenues, such as allowing advertising on the side of buses.

  7. Joe

    Can you give us an update, and your opinion about road conditions tonight after 7 PM? There’s a lot of people on your facebook page asking about tonight.

    1. Eric Berger

      Sorry I missed this. I thought I had made it clear that roads would be more or less fine by Wednesday evening.

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