Thankfully, Houston’s weather turns pretty boring for awhile

It was nice to have a weekend where we didn’t have to think (or, frankly, write) much about the weather, and rather to just enjoy it. Sunshine, warmth, and mild weather all were tremendously welcome after Houston’s winter week from hell. Fortunately, there is more generally mild weather ahead and we really have no major concerns to highlight for you at this time.

Monday

A cold front pushed through Houston during the overnight hours, bringing down dewpoints and temperatures in its wake. Since this is not a particularly strong front, we still expect high temperatures today to rise to around 70 degrees, with mostly sunny skies. Winds will be moderate, out of the north at about 5 to 10 mph.

Low temperature forecast for Tuesday morning. (Weather Bell)

Tonight will be the coldest of the week, and perhaps for quite awhile across the region as we experience a warming trend going forward. Lows will drop to around 40 degrees in Houston, and perhaps a degree or two colder in outlying areas. No one should see a freeze.

Tuesday

This should be another absolutely splendid day, with highs of around 70, or a bit warmer, and a lot more sunshine. Later in the day winds will turn more southerly, and that will begin the process of bringing more humid air into the region. Lows Tuesday night will be a 10 degrees warmer than Monday night.

Wednesday

By Wednesday morning I suspect we’ll start to see widespread sea fog developing as warmer air moves over colder bays and waterways. This could be a problem for several mornings through the weekend. Highs on Wednesday should reach the middle-70s despite increasing cloud cover, and lows in Houston may not drop below 60 degrees overnight.

Thursday and Friday

The end of the work week is somewhat uncertain given that the next cold front it scheduled to push toward Houston on Thursday, but stall somewhere. It might get all the way to Interstate 10, but I think the front will stall north of there. Accordingly, rain chances will be better along and north of I-10 on Thursday and Friday. Even then, accumulations should be only on the order of a quarter inch of rain. Depending on which side of the front you fall, highs will either be in the 60s (well inland) or upper 70s (most of Houston, probably). Nights in Houston will probably stay in the 60s.

Saturday and Sunday

Right now I don’t see much of a pattern change for the weekend. I think most of the region will be pretty warm, in the 70s at least, without much of a cooldown overnight. Rain chances will be on the order of 20 to 30 percent, and for the most part I think we’ll just see a lot of clouds.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for now through Sunday. (Weather Bell)

Is winter over?

I really don’t want to tempt fate here, but the next 10 days or so do look pretty warm. If you’re looking around the killing fields—I mean, your garden and landscaping—you may be wondering if its safe to plant. If you live south of Interstate 10, I would bet heavily against seeing another freeze this season. But for inland areas, it’s just too early to offer such a guarantee.

And besides, it may be too early to determine whether some of your plants are truly dead. I like this advice from Texas A&M Agriculture Extension agent Larry Stein, who told the Houston Chronicle, “Obviously, we’re going to have some kind of damage, but the extent of it won’t be known for a while. We tell people to learn to like ugly. Basically, leave it ugly for a while … to give the plants time to recuperate and actually see the full extent of the damage.”

18 thoughts on “Thankfully, Houston’s weather turns pretty boring for awhile”

  1. ‘Learn to like ugly’ might just become my new motto in life. Very good advice for a lot of things besides plants.

  2. After the “long, tiresome, ugly, no good, painful” week of last week, I’ll take boring through the end of March. For April, I’ll take a surprise cool front or three but nothing less than 50 degrees, please.

    I read somewhere that we Houstonians have a “trauma” tax on us between original flavor Harvey, the pandemic, and now this “winter Hurricane Harvey”. A bit on the nose but we’ll get through it.

  3. Glad you added the synopsis on plants. I actually spent yesterday walking around the yard with a phone, pen, and notebook, making notes on how to handle each type of plant after the freeze. Larry is right, almost all advice was to wait until Spring to see the true damage. Some may bounce back and many will naturally shed their damage, you don’t want to start hacking it off, it could actually kill the plant if it’s still alive. But I did learn a lot about how to “treat” each plant and ascertain extent of damage. Another piece of advice: if you mulched for protection, leave it on as well. Some plants can start to be fertilized now though to help healing.

    But yeah, killing fields is on point. My tropical backyard with banana trees around the pool is nothing but mush trees on the ground…..

  4. Thanks, Eric and Matt for the great steady hand on the tiller last week. I was wondering about “duration” of temperatures below freezing and if that set any records for Houston. It seems like maybe Monday morning until Wednesday morning? I’d also like to ask our folks at A&M about the efficacy of wrapping plants when it’s going to be 16 degrees. I didn’t bother with my front flower bed and it has the same amount of dead plants as my neighbors who religiously wrapped everything — their plants died too (or certainly had the leaves brown out). I made sure everything was watered and we had good rains ahead of the freeze, so my plants’ roots may have survived. (And I know this isn’t a horticultural site! Haha)

    Again, thanks for keeping us up to speed during a very challenging week.

  5. Thanks for all you have done to keep us informed. I’ve been perusing your old posts and your team was pretty much on track. Not sure how ERCOT and other government officials were not more prepared; they should have read your site!

  6. Two weeks. That’s the standard we lived by “up north”, so resist the temptation to go cut/trim/whatever until about March 8 or later that week…
    Unless, of course, you have plenty of $$ and a secret underground plant source!

  7. I learned a hard lesson by leaving my fancy garden hose outside with my patio furniture. Don’t. Bye, bye hose. But boy, it’s nice to have the plants out of my tiny apartment. Now once my mom’s busted pipe is fixed and they can go home and my hot water heater is repaired, THEN I’ll be rejoicing. I send my best thoughts to Eric and Matt and all folks affected by all this horrible stuff. We’ll see how much longer I can put up with the Houston Trauma ™.

  8. I dreaded pulling back the coverings on my plants, especially the tropicals, but adding Christmas lights and rope lights under those coverings made it like nothing ever happened!

    Even losing power for a day, during the day and on the coldest day, they had enough warmth. I highly recommend non-LED rope lights to save trees and plants. I saved a huge fan palm. Only what accidentally stuck out from the covering got damage.

  9. Thank you, just thank you for your straight-forward, “Voice of Reason” delivery style. You are THE BEST! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  10. Thank you for you time and efforts! I appreciate the no nonsense forecasts!
    A month ago I asked you if February was going to be our typical wet miserable weather or continue the January rollercoaster. I had no idea that we would have the miserable weather with a rollercoaster dip that the Texas Cyclone would have been envious of. Glad it’s over!

  11. Thank you Eric and Matt for all you do. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why’s it still #2?

    • Well, it all has to do with the HB graphite grading scale used to classify the pencil’s graphite core. … The hardness of the graphite core is often marked on the pencil — look for a number (such as “2” “2-1/2” or “3”) — and the higher the number, the harder the writing core and the lighter the mark left on the paper.

  12. The weather channel is predicting another big freeze in mid March… are they looking for ratings or is this a possibility?

  13. and for the Houston Trauma, therapist says to “embrace the suck”. As in, sure … you might not have it as bad as X person, but it still sucks and you can be mad/sad/frustrated/grateful, even all at the same time. Let yourself feel bad about it, to get past it.

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