Taking stock of a lousy Saturday forecast, acorns, and superb sunsets

Before getting into the forecast this morning, I wanted to share a couple of observations about Houston’s weather of late. Let’s start with the acorns. Oh, the acorns. They’re still falling. I went back and checked this morning, and I first wrote about the mast year for acorns we’re experiencing back on November 2. That’s five weeks ago, and they were already thick as thieves by that point. If there’s a naturalist, arborist, or other expert out there who can quantify this year’s acorn crop I’d love to hear about it. I just can’t believe they’re still falling. Will they ever stop?

The other thing one cannot really miss, if you’re outdoors during the early evening hours, is the grand sunsets we’ve been experiencing. Matt has been noticing them too, and says that they’re due to a thin layer of cirrus clouds. These are the wispy clouds high in the atmosphere, which are formed entirely of ice crystals, and often indicate the presence of the jet stream. You can see these clouds in the lovely photos below, sent in by readers. In the case of our recent sunsets, there are enough of these clouds to produce vivid colors by scattering some light, but not so many that they block out too much of the Sun’s last, dying rays. We’re likely to see more such sunsets this winter with an active jet streak.

Alright, on to the forecast, which is somewhat of a mixed bag with a lot of people undoubtedly having pre-holiday plans this weekend.


Today should be a pleasant and mostly sunny winter day. Look for highs in the mid-60s, with light easterly winds. Those winds will begin to turn southeasterly tonight as high pressure near Texas shifts further to the east. We should still see one more cool night, however, as lows drop into the upper 40s for most of the Houston metro area, and lower 50s closer to the coast.


Southerly winds should become more pronounced on Thursday, and we’ll start to see some moisture return to the atmosphere. This may result in a few clouds as highs nudge up to around 70 degrees. With a warmer, southerly flow in place lows on Thursday night will probably only drop to around 60 degrees. A few very light, scattered showers may be possible overnight.


This will be a warmer and more humid day, with highs in the mid-70s and a mix of sunshine and clouds. Some very light showers will again be possible due to the atmospheric moisture, but I expect them to be rather scattered. Temperatures on Friday night will be downright warm, only falling into the upper 60s for most of the region.


Like many of you, probably, my family has some outdoor plans during the daytime on Saturday and the timing of a front is not making for easy planning. While there’s still not great consistency, the forecast models are trending slightly later with the frontal passage, probably putting it some time during the afternoon hours. So here’s what I think I know. Saturday morning will start out warm and muggy, and much of Houston may get into the mid- or upper-70s. At some point we’re going to see a storm system, perhaps an intact line of storms, perhaps a broken line. I don’t feel confident yet in saying whether this will occur during the late-morning or afternoon hours yet. But by or before sunset these storms should clear the area, with much drier and colder air moving in. I’m not concerned about rainfall accumulations, as I expect most areas to receive perhaps 0.5 inch or less, but we can’t dismiss the possibility of some of these daytime thunderstorms becoming severe due to the somewhat unstable air mass. Our confidence in the forecast will increase during the next day or two as we get within the realm of higher-resolution modeling.

Temperatures on Sunday morning will be 25 degrees colder than on Saturday morning. (Weather Bell)


Overnight lows will drop into the 40s heading into Sunday morning, with gusty conditions. Wake-up temperatures on Sunday morning will “feel” like they’re in the 30s due to these winds. So bundle up if you’re going to be out and about. Sunday’s high temperatures will likely only reach the upper 50s even with lots of sunshine. Absolute temperatures on Monday morning will be even colder, probably down to around 40 degrees in Houston. But with less wind they’ll be more tolerable.

Next week

Pretty much all of next week should remain on the chilly side, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. There’s no sign of a warm-up in the near term, friends. Maybe don an ugly Christmas sweater early?

31 thoughts on “Taking stock of a lousy Saturday forecast, acorns, and superb sunsets”

    • No, sorry. Please don’t bring this nonsense into these comments. Cirrus clouds are just clouds.

      • I agree that cirrus clouds are just clouds, that have always been around, but, anyone who believes that there is climate change caused by human activity, has to admit that if scientists study human activity and how it inadvertently changes the climate, then scientists must understand the mechanism of how humans can intentionally manipulate the climate. Indeed, the history of humans is full of technologies and discoveries which are eventually used for weapons, nuclear energy, pathogens used for germ warfare, smelting metals eventually developed into blades used as weapons, etc. Thus, it’s not unreasonable to consider that knowledge of anthropogenic climate change wouldn’t eventually be used to intentionally change the climate. The way I see it, you have to either believe that scientists have no idea whether or not human influenced climate change is real, and the entire climate crisis rhetoric is just nonsense, OR that they do know that humans are changing the climate, and how it works, and that someone will eventually weaponize that knowledge, if not already.

    • Interesting! Since my trees (at least) are not dropping green acorns I’ll take that as a hopeful sign that this is not a manifestation of tree stress.

      • Unfortunately the oak trees in my backyard are still dropping solid green acorns. The trees themselves still appear to be doing well though luckily. Sadly I lost 2 birch trees due to this past summers relentless heat and drought. Birch trees seem to be less tolerant of drought. Weirdly enough, I did not see any mass acorn drop off during the fall of 2011 in my area, which is weird because the drought was technically worse in 2011. The heat was a little worse this past August and Septmener than in 2011. So, that may have something to do with it.

    • Thank you — this + the pecans makes me think they’re telegraphic winter:

      “In our article, 20 Signs of a Hard Winter Ahead, we delve into the folklore surrounding nature’s indicators of harsh winter weather. One such sign is the profuse dropping of acorns, which typically refers to brown acorns falling during autumn months. According to tradition and lore, seeing an abundance of brown acorns falling means a severe winter is predicted.”

  1. Trees that believe they aren’t going to live a lot longer will overproduce their fruit/nuts in an effort to pass on their genetics; like a last harvest. It happened with our dwarf fruit trees. They produced baskets and baskets and baskets of lemons. I was shocked. Filled up the whole kitchen. So many that I distributed them out, and a neighbor came and took them to church: 🍋s × 🍋s

    They both kind of withered afterwards and died a few months later.

    I really hope that’s not the case with the trees here. They suffered so much in the heat this past summer. Poor lovely things 💔

  2. Oh, the acorns!! I’ve been beaned in the head, smacked on the arms, and several have dropped SO loudly on my truck they sounded like a firecracker!

    • Yes, I have been hit too, riding my bike I’ve been smacked. Also have to watch out on a bike for those piles of acorns that can cause you to skid.

  3. I am not an expert, but I surmise the acorns are a survival instinct. More flowers are blooming late and I’ve noticed dandelions are prolific this year. I believe it is due to last winter’s survive weather as well as this summer’s drought. The combination of both winter and summer’s extreme weather has forced plant life to reproduce at incredible rates.

  4. Have they changed what they call it, or is your spellchecker making mischief. Isn’t it still called the jetstream? I’m not being a smarty pants, it’s a serious question.

    Also, I’ve never seen so many acorns. I wonder if the very hot dry summer has induced this response.

  5. Seems to me there was a deluge of acorns in early November, then a relative lull for a couple of weeks, and then the deluge resumed.

  6. I once heard the great Randy Lemmon say that with an acorn masting year you get an accompanying rat flood…two words you don’t want to hear in the same sentence.

    • Well we won’t have a rat flood. We have a horse farm and have lots of oak trees but we also have horses who LOVE them. When I turn them out in the pasture in the morning, after being in the barn overnight, they RUN to the oak trees and gobble up the acorns that have fallen overnight!

    • Yesterday I was hoping the forecast was correct we’d get a good potent cold front in here during the day on Saturday. It’s been such a long, long time since we’ve been able to witness the weather changing firsthand. I was also looking forward to getting a good rain. But now it’s looking less and less likely for anything to get excited about. (Yawn)

  7. Loving this week’s weather. I can’t fathom being able to go back to the oppressive 100+ degree days. My aging house and AC unit have breathed a sign of relief.

  8. The acorns took a break and then restarted after he round of rain. BUMPER crop of really healthy pecans. The squirrels are madly burying them all over, so we’re either getting a proper winter or I’m going to have several pecan trees down the line. The backyard has so many freshly dug holes that it looks like Caddyshack’s golf course. 😉

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