Space City Weather

Winter is coming to Houston. No really, it is.

Most of us remember last winter, right? November was 4.4 degrees above normal, and then came December. While the month had a couple of decent fronts, the second half had a run of extremely warm days and nights, including 80 degrees on Christmas and an overnight low of 71 degrees on Christmas night. Here’s what that looked like:

December, 2016, high and low temperatures. (NOAA)

Temperatures this November have averaged about 5 degrees above normal, too, a lot like last year. But I’m willing to bet that December won’t see a repeat. Indeed, as I’ll discuss below, there are good reasons to think that a good chunk of December will see cooler than normal temperatures.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Temperatures will warm into the upper 70s today, and humidity levels will rise a bit. However, a weak cool front will arrive on Wednesday morning to put a lid of temperatures for the rest of the week. This front could spur a few showers near or along the coast, but for the most part we won’t see any precipitation. Highs Wednesday should be in the mid-70s with continued sunshine.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Our gorgeous, fall-like weather continues, with highs in the low to mid-70s, overnight lows in the 50s, and drier air. Really, these will be great days.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday

Temperatures will begin to warm some on Sunday, and the first couple of days next week could see highs near about 80 degrees. Lows should creep back up into the mid-60s, too. However, this warmer-than-normal weather is not going to last for long.

Wednesday and beyond

At some point next week, perhaps Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday, our weather pattern is going to shift as a trough of low pressure moves down into the eastern United States. Essentially, this is going to facilitate the movement of cooler, and drier air into most of the country east of the Rocky Mountains for much of December—and this includes Houston. At a minimum, we’re probably looking at about a week of high temperatures in the upper 50s or low 60s, with lows in the 40s.

The 16-day forecast from the GFS model shows a significant change in temperatures next week. Other models do too. (Weather Bell)

My guess is that the cooler weather, generally, will persist for most of the month. In other words, winter is really coming.