HOUSTON - Baby, it's cold outside! In fact, the coldest temperatures in just shy of three years have moved into Houston.
As of 7 a.m. Saturday, the mercury plummeted to 21 degrees at Bush-Intercontinental, 23° at Hobby, 19° in Conroe, 19° in The Woodlands, 20° in Sugar Land and 31° in Galveston.
Even under bright sunny skies temperatures will struggle to get out of the 30s today and in many cases they won't.
In preparation for the freeze, the National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for every county except Galveston. A Freeze Warning is in effect for Galveston county and Galveston Island. All the advisories are in effect until Sunday morning.
A hard freeze is defined as temperatures dropping to or below 27 degrees for a couple of hours. That should be an *easy* accomplishment.
Temperatures area wide will range between 15 and 25 degrees, colder to the north and west, and Galveston will hover around 31 degrees. Wind chills will hover in the single digits above zero and low teens area wide.
Temperatures will only be above freezing for a few hours this afternoon before we begin a hasty decline into the 20s by 10 p.m. for many areas. Temperatures will not reach above freezing again until at least 10 a.m. Sunday morning, perhaps later.
If you have not wrapped backflow preventers on your sprinkler system, they're probably busted at this point. However, if they managed to miraculously survive, you need to cover them. Also wrap any exposed pipes on the outside of the house. If you don't have any fancy cold weather covers from a store, simply wrapping a towel or wash cloth around the spiggot with duck tape will work perfectly fine.
All sensitive plants need to be covered again tonight. Like the sprinkler systems, if you failed to cover them last night, don't worry about it tonight. They're toast. Make sure you cover plants with a cloth cover that reaches all the way to the ground. If you haven't taken down your Christmas lights yet, leaving the lights on overnigth will provide additional heat to the plant under the cloth to perhaps get the plant through the night.
All pets need to be brought indoors. If you're husband or wife won't let you bring them in, then put the husband or wife outside and bring the pet in anyway. I'm kidding.
Please practice space heater safety and check on the elderly folks who are most at risk in these conditions.
Texans Tailgate Forecast
Penalty! Throw the flag, ref! Too cold for football! Temperatures will be brutal this afternoon staying in the 30s most of the day. For the tailgate, expect temperatures hovering near freezing. At kick off around 3:30, we might (emphasis on the might) have reached 40 degrees. By the time the game is over, temperatures will be in a free fall with some areas in Houston already at the freezing point.
I know Houstonians aren't used to this kind of cold but Californians surely aren't! Perhaps it works to our advantage? Watt you gotta say about that, Raiders? Go Texans!
Big warm up short lived
Temperatures will rebound in a hurry by Monday with temperatures jumping into the mid 60s and then the mid to upper 70s by Thursday and Friday. Do you have pneumonia yet? If you've managed to stay healthy through all this, you're immune system will take another beating by Sunday as temperatures plummet into the low and mid 40s for daytime highs as another strong cold front arrives. The good news is the temperatures behind the front don't look nearly as cold as what we are currently experiencing.
That's several days away. In the mean time, plan accordingly for the freeze tonight. It'll be one of the more severe ones we've seen in quite some time here in Houston!
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