Thursday was Houston’s warmest December day on record; we will make a run for it again today

On December 3, 1933 Hobby Airport reached 85°, making it the warmest December day on record, a record that held for 88 years and finally fell yesterday when Hobby topped off at 87°. The City of Houston officially hit 84° on that December 1933 day, a record that stood until December 3, 1995, when Bush Airport hit 85°. Yesterday, for the first time since that 1995 day, Bush Airport hit 85° in December. Yesterday was most likely the warmest December afternoon on record in the Houston area. It’s not impossible to think today could be equally hot.


After watching my Rutgers Scarlet Knights men’s basketball team upend #1 Purdue last night, it was tough to come down from that high. Then I opened the door this morning. We all have opinions about warm weather in winter ranging from “This is amazing” to “I hate everything.” I don’t personally care for it, but alas, here we are. Today will be another scorcher by December standards. We will have a mix of clouds & sun with highs likely in the mid-80s.

Back to the 80s again today! (NOAA)

Coastal fog has been mitigated some by a breeze overnight. We could see fog attempt to develop in Galveston and coastal locations at any point today though, particularly if winds lighten up some late. A stray shower or some drizzle is also possible today.

Tonight & Saturday

For those sick of the hotter weather, you may bask in the weekend. We will continue quite warm and humid tonight. Temperatures will not go very far, with steady readings in the 70s likely into the early morning hours. The cold front will arrive with authority after 4 A.M. on Saturday in central Houston, an hour or two sooner northwest of the city and an hour or two later southeast. By sunrise, the front will be offshore. Look for temperatures to plunge from the mid-70s into the 50s, where they likely will stay for most of Saturday.

Temperatures around 4 PM on Saturday will be far from the 80s! Look for 50s and a gusty breeze in most of the area. (Weather Bell)

In addition to a change of seasons, this front will come with some showers and storms. Look for a narrow but potentially noisy line of brief storms after 2 or 3 AM on Saturday, ending around sunrise. This will be followed by clouds, along with some light rain or a few showers perhaps. Wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph will accompany all this, just to add to the autumnal ambiance. I don’t expect us to see much sunshine on Saturday until perhaps late in the day.


As skies clear out late Saturday evening and winds back down some, temperatures will fall as well. Look for Sunday morning to begin in the low to mid-40s in most places, with some 30s likely outside the city. Sunday itself looks gorgeous. Expect sunshine and highs a bit above 60 degrees.

Next week

The return to autumn or early winter weather will be brief. We warm up a little beginning Monday, with morning lows in the upper-40s and daytime highs in the low-70s under sunshine. Monday actually looks spectacular, although clouds may increase through the afternoon.

By Tuesday, onshore flow will begin to exert more influence. This will warm us and bump back up the humidity. Look for highs well into the 70s and lows in the 60s. More of this on Wednesday and Thursday is expected. Yes, we could hit 80 degrees again one or multiple times into late next week. In addition to all this, the usual suspects that typically accompany these December warm ups (clouds, scattered showers, and fog) will join us again as well.

When will we see another cold front? As of this morning, the Euro has one around Sunday next weekend, while the GFS is more like the Monday or Tuesday the week of Christmas. Keep the shorts handy a little longer.

26 thoughts on “Thursday was Houston’s warmest December day on record; we will make a run for it again today”

  1. That’s incredible, but not surprising. I can already tell that this December is much, much warmer than the last. I’m worried though that with climate change, this is the new normal for winter in Houston…

  2. Rooting for RUTGERS……does that make you a Jersey boy? Just another transplant asking….

    Thank you for being the forecasters that I trust and depend on.

  3. Fortunately, the clouds kept the attic cool enough that the A/C didn’t kick on yesterday, but it was close.

    This is getting ridiculous. Not only is Houston too hot in the summer, it’s getting too hot in the winter as well.

  4. Aren’t the official records recorded at Intercontinental? If that’s the case then we only tied the record.

    • With Hobby breaking their all-time Dec record by 2 and IAH tying it, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it was the warmest day for the area on record. This morning’s low of 76 at IAH would also break the all-time warmest low temp record for December by 2 degrees (if it holds through midnight).

  5. I swam to my car this morning. This is utterly disgusting. 🙁 Thanks for keeping us abreast of what’s happening!

  6. I called my friend in Pittsburgh and jokingly told him that I finally know how Australians view their Christmas holidays since they celebrate them in the middle of summer! I hate running my a/c in December, it seems weird and like some form of blasphemy. Example: Whispered to a friend at tonight’s Holiday party, “We’ve been running our a/c for the past 2 days.” Friend, “What?! How dare you! It’s December for crying out loud!” BTW, I so love the cold fronts that I sometimes stand outside waiting for the first traces of a wind shift. Just glad we have one at our doorsteps.

  7. If next August’s temperatures are this much above average then what will we be looking at? Temps? Affects on people, animals and economy?

    • Yesterday’s temp: 87 degrees
      Average December high: 63 degrees
      Delta: 24 degrees
      Average August high: 91 degrees

      Resulting “above average high”: 115 degrees.

      But I don’t think that’s how weather works, especially next to the Gulf. Regardless, we deal with similar temps in other parts of Texas.

      • Correct. It would be exceedingly difficult to get much above 105 in August unless a burst of dry air pushed through. The Gulf has a big role here.

    • 80s are never gone for good in Houston. Every part of the year except possibly January can get to the low 80s without too much trouble.

  8. I love oncoming cold fronts,
    Wind direction changing ,leaves flying into my neighbors yard.
    I like winter!!!

  9. Yeah it felt like a record, especially going outside late last night. It felt like a September night. Very concerned for the coming years.

  10. Thank you as always for the no-hype forecast. As well as calming the many concerns that a couple warm days mean anything more than a couple warm days. Que sera sera.

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