Last night at about 10:30pm, as the winds roared outside and you could just feel the cold moving in to Houston, my wife turned to me and said, “I’m so tired of winter. When is it going to warm up?” I’ll have some more words on this later in the post, but the short answer is that the second half of this month does appear likely to be noticeably warmer than our cold start to 2018.

Friday

Cold air will continue to blow into Houston today, but the winds won’t be quite so fierce as they were Thursday evening. Intercontinental Airport reported gusts of 38mph, with Galveston reaching 41mph, and College Station recording a gust of 45mph. Today wind gusts should remain in the 20s. Even so, it will be cold, with high temperatures struggling to reach 50 degrees under sunny skies. Lows tonight will be at or just above freezing in Houston, with a light freeze north of the city.

We we talk about cold air advection, this is what we mean. Notice the winds drawing cold, Canadian air all the way down across the United States and into Texas. (earth.nullschool.net)

Saturday and Sunday

After the winds finally die down later on Friday, we’re going to be left with just cold, sunny weather. High temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday will only reach about 50 degrees, and Saturday night should see a freeze over the northern half of the region, with temperatures in the mid-20s over some places like Montgomery County.

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Winter roars back into Houston today

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:56 AM

It’s quite warm this morning across Houston, with low temperatures only falling into the mid-60s for most of the area. But don’t let that fool you—a strong cold front will blow through the area today and change our weather through the weekend.

It’s moderate along the coast this morning, but much colder air is coming. (Weather Bell)

Thursday

Our muggy (for winter) conditions will prevail this morning, allowing high temperatures to likely rise into the low 70s for much of Houston. However, a line of showers will develop later this morning, and move through the region between about 10am and 2pm, with the cold front at the back end of these showers. Most areas shouldn’t see more than a tenth or two of an inch of rain as the storms move through fairly quickly. In their wake we’ll be left will very blustery conditions, as gusts may rise to about 30mph this afternoon and evening. (A Gale Warning is in effect for offshore, where seas will be rough. This afternoon and this evening would be a very bad time to take the boat out.) All of this should lead to a chilly night, with a light freeze for the northern half of Houston, and wind chills down in the 20s.

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Parts of the Houston region, particularly the western half of the area, are seeing dense fog this morning. Sunrise, and later increasing winds, should help break up the fog by mid-morning but until then please take caution on roadways.

Wednesday

Even after the fog clears skies should remain gray today, with winds picking up out of the southeast as the onshore flow gets a bit stronger. Expect highs in the low- to mid-60s, with not much of a temperature drop off tonight.

Thursday

These somewhat stronger winds during the overnight hours should help to limit the development of fog on Thursday morning, although it’s still possible given warmer air and moisture in the atmosphere. Highs Thursday should reach up to near 70 degrees before a front moves through, probably sometime during the early afternoon hours. It appears as though some line of showers and thunderstorms will accompany the front, but this system should move through fairly briskly on its way toward the Gulf of Mexico. I wouldn’t anticipate accumulations of more than a few tenths of an inch of rain.

Wind gusts could be in the 30s for parts of Houston on Thursday evening and Friday morning due to the front’s passage. (Weather Bell)

Winds should really kick up behind the front, and the National Weather Service has issued a gale watch for waters off the coast with rough seas anticipated Thursday night into Friday morning.

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Officially, the mercury in Houston has yet to hit 70 degrees in 2018. In fact, we haven’t gotten that warm since Dec. 22. (This is, like, a real winter). Anyway, we have a chance to get close to 70 degrees this week before the region gets quite cold again this weekend.

Tuesday

Not much to say about today, as we’ll see partly sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 60s. Winds won’t be appreciable today and lows tonight will probably only fall to around 50 degrees. Should be very nice for January.

Wednesday

As the onshore flow returns Tuesday night, the region should see a partly to mostly cloudy day on Wednesday, with the potential for some fog during the morning hours. Highs should climb into the mid- to upper-60s, and we could hit 70 degrees if the Sun breaks through for long enough.

Thursday

We’ll start the day out warm before a cold front moves through the area during the daytime hours. I’m not expecting anything severe, but the front’s push through the area could be accompanied by some brief, heavy rain showers.

Rain accumulation forecast for Thursday. (NOAA)

Still, because the system should move steadily from northwest to southeast, I don’t expect accumulations above a few tenths of an inch of rain for most areas. Areas far inland on Thursday night could see a light freeze, but I expect most of the city to remain above freezing on Friday morning.

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