We’re not going to do it … We’re not going to do it … Ok, we are. Winter is coming.

Good morning. It appears increasingly likely the Houston region will see its first real Arctic blast early next week, with a reasonable possibility for a freeze in central parts of the city, and possibly upper 20s north and west of Houston. While we are far from locking in temperatures yet, this is something to bear in mind for this weekend if you have plants outside that need to be winterized.

Thursday

The first of two cold fronts is on the way to Houston, but this will be a bit of an odd duck. The front is going to move through today, likely pushing from the northwest to the coast roughly from noon to around 6pm. Instead of a line of showers and thunderstorms, we are more likely to see kind of a mass of light to moderate rain, which may congeal into heavier rain showers and thunderstorms south and southwest of Houston. Hard to say for sure, to be honest.

This HRRR forecast for wind gusts shows the front reaching the coast at 5pm CT Thursday. (Weather Bell)

Bottom line—if you live north or east of Houston you may not see much rain at all, but if you live in Sugar Land you might get 1 to 2 inches. While we will see winds shift with the front, and some drier air, cooler temperatures are going to lag several hours behind. As a result, highs today should get into the upper 70s, and fall to around 50 by Friday morning.

Friday

Some light showers may linger into Friday in the wake of Thursday’s front. Even after they stop, however, clouds will remain, and this will be a cold and gray day. Highs are unlikely to get out of the low 50s. Friday nights lows should drop into the 40s, but how far will depend upon your distance from the coast.

Saturday and Sunday

Hello, fine fall weekend! Saturday (mid-60s) and Sunday (low 70s) should both be partly to mostly sunny days. Low temperatures will recover to around 60 by Sunday night as the onshore flow returns, and brings some clouds with it.

Monday

At some point on Monday—the timing is not yet locked in—the season’s strongest cold front will barrel into Houston. If you’re attending Veteran’s Day ceremonies, I think conditions most likely will be cloudy, and if they’re during the morning or early afternoon hours, you will probably be done before the front arrives. Some showers and thunderstorms are possible along with this front as well, although I’m not confident with that part of the forecast. Where we are increasingly confident, however, is in the amount of cold air headed our way as the gusty front blows in.

Low temperatures on Monday night will probably drop to around 40 degrees in Houston, but Tuesday night looks to be the coldest, with clearing skies and ideal conditions for cooling. How far will the freeze extend into Houston? That’s the big question right now. Here’s our best guess at the moment.

Forecast for low temperatures on Wednesday morning — subject to change. (Weather Bell)

Most of next week looks chilly in the wake of the front, with highs in the 50s and 60s, and lows in the 40s after Wednesday.

26 thoughts on “We’re not going to do it … We’re not going to do it … Ok, we are. Winter is coming.

  1. Barb

    A group from my office have plans to see the Union Pacific historic steam engine this morning between 10:30 and Noon at the Amtrak station. Fingers crossed we see it before the rain starts. Should we be ok downtown?

    1. Jonathan

      I’ll be heading that way before too much longer myself. I think we’ll be fine through the early afternoon.

  2. Monty

    Looks like models are deciding to give me the news I didn’t want. Thanks for the update. I’ll warn family/friends to prepare their plants for November Armageddon 🤮

  3. Ross Bennett

    Crazy question to the group: we’re in the home stretch of finishing our front yard this weekend, and was going to grass reseed. Is it too late in the season? I read that grass still grows till it’s consistently in the 40’s. With 70’s still around, do we still have time to get a bit of grass growing? Thoughts everyone?

    1. Joseph

      I work with harris county flood control and I asked our turf experts how seeding and sod responds at this time of year.

      1. Joseph

        From the Turf experts – This time of year we change out seed plan and add a temporary cool season grass, that grows well this time of year, and dies out in the summer months.

        Depending on how cold it is can make a big difference in how quickly we get germination of the seed(the colder it is the slower the growth).

        As for sod, this is the best time of year to plant sod, especially since it is not being irrigated. Even though the sod may go dormant because of cold weather or freezes, the root system is still actively growing.

    2. Joseph

      RESPONSE FROM TURF EXPERT – This time of year we change out seed plan and add a temporary cool season grass, that grows well this time of year, and dies out in the summer months.

      Depending on how cold it is can make a big difference in how quickly we get germination of the seed(the colder it is the slower the growth).

      As for sod, this is the best time of year to plant sod, especially since it is not being irrigated. Even though the sod may go dormant because of cold weather or freezes, the root system is still actively growing.

      1. Ross Bennett

        Thanks friend, seed is cheap so we’ll give it a try! Sounds like it’ll just take a little longer.

        1. Rob

          Ross, what kind of grass seed? If it’s Bermuda, I’d probably wait, it will be really slow to germinate when night time temps are below 60. If it’s winter Rye, you’re good to go. Remember, St. Augustine grass ( the most common around here) is basically sterile, so it’s grown from sod. As Joseph said, this is a great time to lay down sod.

          1. Ross Bennett

            Vigoro Fast Grass Mix, which looks like its mostly consisting of Rye. No idea if it’s of the winter variety. It does say for fall best temps between 65-80, which is loosely what we have. Sounds like I’ll be good!

  4. Keith

    Hopefully Monday clears out early enough to catch part of the Mercury transit of the Sun.

  5. henry

    If i’m remembering correctly, seems like last year started similar – late but strong. Nov-Dec were pretty cold, but the rest of the winter Jan onward was fairly warm.

    1. Maureen

      No need to pick citrus for a freeze. The cold actually helps it sweeten. Once you pick, though, that’s it. It won’t ripen/sweeten any more

  6. uncsig

    Eric
    Does the earlier than expected arrival of heavier/longer lasting rain mean that we should expect things to clear out sooner than projected in your post?

  7. Greg

    It seems with this freeze coming that if you live in Katy, this weekend is the perfect time to finish evacuation preparations ahead of weather that will most likely mirror scenes from “The Day After Tomorrow”.

    1. Weather Boomer

      The joke doesn’t really work when you’re talking about a weather event that actually would be more impactful further inland. You tried, though.

    2. Pablo

      I think that during Imelda it was agreed the Katy jokes would be retired. They stem from Ike, and became not so funny during Harvey when many were severely affected, including loss of life.

      Personally, I thought they were funny after Ike. Now? After I know people whose lives were severely affected, and others lost their lives? Not so much.

  8. Adam W.

    Tried to go see the historic steam train on my lunch break. The skies opened and it has been raining for hours. The crowds were crazy and no parking whatsoever. The Houston Amtrak station is really tiny and hardly any parking…sad.

  9. Arianda

    Like I said before, double the rain predictions folks: They say 2, you’ll get 4, they say 3, you’ll get 6. It has worked every time for me!

  10. tanstaafl

    Light rain pretty much nonstop since around 10AM in Champions. Total so far is .97″ Winds have not picked up as forecast (yet?).

  11. Christina

    It’s been raining non-stop since about 10AM in the Energy Corridor — was not expecting that much rain!

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