Very cold night for late April on tap for Houston

Good morning. A strong system that brought snow the parts of Colorado on Monday will push through Texas today and reach the Houston area tonight. High temperatures in west Texas today will be in the 50s—way below normal for late April—and the front will still have a good punch when it pushes into Houston this evening. Some areas of the metro area will fall into the 40s on Wednesday morning, and this could be the last time for that until at least October.

Tuesday

Before the front arrives, however, today will be fairly warm. With light, westerly winds and sunny skies we’ll see high temperatures today shoot up into the low- to mid-80s. This will be facilitated by a fairly dry air mass which, while it will certainly feel more comfortable than humidity, will nonetheless allow the air to heat up more rapidly. The front will reach the city around sunset and the coast around midnight, with winds gusting out of the north at perhaps 20 to 25 mph.

Low temperatures on Wednesday morning in Houston. (Weather Bell)

Wednesday

Areas north of Interstate 10 will start in the 40s on Wednesday morning, and with northerly winds the “apparent” temperature for parts of Montgomery and Waller counties will be in the 30s. (The record low for Bush Intercontinental Airport for April 21, the city’s official weather station, is 42 degrees set in 1978). The bottom line, is that yes, you may want to bundle up when you head out the door on Wednesday morning. With sunny skies, temperatures should rebound to around 70 degrees, but a northerly wind of 10 to 15 mph will blow all day. Lows Wednesday night will be about 5 degrees warmer than Tuesday night.

Thursday

As high pressure exits to the west, winds will shift to come from the east and then southeast on Thursday. This will return moisture to the atmosphere fairly quickly, and begin to form clouds. Highs will probably top out in the low 70s, but overnight lows will not drop much, likely into the upper 60s for most. A few light showers will be possible south of Houston on Thursday, with slightly better chances overnight.

Friday

Showers and some thunderstorms are likely on Friday. Moisture levels in the atmosphere will support moderate to heavy rainfall for some locations, and there will be enough instability for thunderstorms to develop. It’s a little too early to have much confidence in details, but the most likely time period for this heavier rain will come from around noon on Friday into early Saturday. As for accumulations, I’d guess most areas will see 0.5 to 2 inches of rainfall, with the potential for higher totals north of Interstate 10. This forecast will definitely need fine-tuning in the days ahead. Highs will otherwise be in the upper 70s.

NOAA forecast for rainfall totals through Saturday morning. (Weather Bell)

Saturday and Sunday

Rains should end on Saturday morning, likely before sunrise for most of us as a weak front moves into the region. This should help to clear out skies and push highs on Saturday into the mid-80s. Lows will drop to around 60 degrees on Saturday night. Sunday and Monday will probably be similar in regard to temperatures, with mostly sunny skies.

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