A gray start to the New Year, but will it rain?

I hope everyone is enjoying their end of the year weather. My wife, who loves the heat, is miserable, hiding beneath an electric blanket. I’m loving the colder air after what seemed like a never-ending summer. Anyway, here’s a quick look at what’s ahead.


Parts of Houston saw light rain overnight and this morning, but I expect that to end this afternoon except, possibly, for areas immediately along the coast. Most areas will see high temperatures near 60 degrees today under mostly cloudy skies.


The big question is how long the break in the rain lasts. Thursday won’t be warm, with highs in the mid-50s, but moisture levels in the atmosphere will begin to increase later in the day, setting the stage for light rain. But will it hold off during the crucial evening hours, when many will venture outside to ring in the new year? If I had to guess, I’d say yes, but it’s a tough call. Temperatures between 6 p.m. and midnight will be in the upper 40s.

The GFS (and other models) now seem less bullish on rain on Thursday night. (Weather Bell)
The GFS (and other models) now seem less bullish on rain on Thursday night. (Weather Bell)

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A gray day, a gray week, a new year

In honor of the Houston region finally reaching consistently winter-like conditions, we open today weather post with a simple haiku.

A gray day, today

A gray week, this week, all week

Finally, it’s winter


Most areas are seeing partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies this morning after overnight lows dipped down to about 40 degrees. Highs today will reach the upper 50s. After sunset light, misting rain will be possible during the overnight hours.

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Winter arrives, will stay for awhile

Wind chill temperatures this morning are in the 30s across the Houston area, and for the first time in more than a week it really feels like winter outside. And it’s going to remain that way.

Winter has come to Texas this morning. (Weather Bell)
Winter has come to Texas this morning. (Weather Bell)



Winds will finally die down today, but temperatures are only likely to rise to about 50 degrees. Lows will fall into the 30s, but won’t reach freezing levels in the metro area. Welcome to the new normal for this week and weekend.

Wednesday looks to be the warmest day, with high temperatures of around 60 degrees.

Temperatures on New Years Eve — heading toward midnight — will generally be in the upper 40s, with partly cloudy skies. So bundle up!


Houston may see a slight chance of rain on Tuesday night, but for the most part this week we will be dry.

The forecast models are split as to whether we’ll see some rain this weekend. If we do it most likely will be in the form of light rain. I wouldn’t have any confidence in a weekend forecast yet, beyond the fact that it’s going to be cold.


This colder pattern will stick around for the next eight or nine days before we finally begin to see high temperatures climb back up into the upper 60s.

1:30 PM Update: So far so good, but storms on the way

A Tornado Watch remains posted for Houston and areas north through 4 PM. Thankfully, we’ve only seen one brief tornado warning issued today, just to the north of Navasota. Around Houston, it’s been fine thus far.

The radar shows a broken, but gradually intensifying line of thunderstorms to our west, moving toward the western parts of Harris County as of 1:30 PM. I do think the threat for tornadoes will remain on the low side through mid-afternoon.The best parameters for supercell thunderstorms are shifting to the north and east of Houston now, and while we could conceivably see a storm spin up a brief tornado, the best odds for that are moving into Louisiana.

1:30 PM radar shows a line of thunderstorms organizing west of Houston. It will move through over the next few hours. (NOAA)
1:30 PM radar shows a line of thunderstorms organizing west of Houston. It will move through over the next few hours. (NOAA)


That being said, with a developing line of thunderstorms, we could see strong, damaging straight line winds become an issue as it organizes moving through the region. So, remain weather aware with a method to receive weather warnings this afternoon. In addition to the severe weather, heavy rainfall is occurring in these storms. Some areas may see 1-2″ in a short time, so localized street flooding will be possible into this evening.

Temperatures drop 20-25 degrees behind the front. (Weather Underground)
Temperatures drop 20-25 degrees behind the front. Winter is coming. (Weather Underground)


Oh, and it will turn sharply colder after the line of storms to our west arrives. Temperatures may drop 25 degrees in an hour as the front arrives this afternoon. It will be in the low to mid 50s just about everywhere by evening.

So in sum: Tornado Watch still posted, but highest threat is shifting away. Strong to severe thunderstorms likely mid to late afternoon with heavy rain and gusty winds. Turning much colder as the front moves through.