Arctic Blast for the New Year

HOUSTON - We are in for a deep freeze next week! As if it hasn't been chilly enough this week after Christmas, we're going to have to cover the plants, bring in the pets and cover exposed residential water pipes. Typically we see a comfortable 65° this time of year, but next week we may not get out of the low 30s for at least a day.

The arctic front bringing this brrrrr plows through Texas Sunday night, New Years Eve. It'll be a cloudy and rainy celebration. New Years Day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be the coldest of the week in Houston. Highs may not even get above freezing on Tuesday! This means Wednesday morning lows could dip to the upper teens in Conroe and low to mid 20s elsewhere. (That's the case if the ground remains free of snow. If it snows, it'll drop into the teens for all except along the immediate coast.)

Snow? Relax. Not likely. Only one run of one global forecast computer model (EMCWF, a.k.a., "The Euro") suggested we'd see some Tuesday morning, January 2nd. Statistically this will not happen in part because we've already had snow this winter.  If you look back in history, Houston's only experienced five winters (since 1895) where it's snowed more than once.

The new year will harbor a continuation of this cold pattern. How long will this chill last? Long-range forecasts point to cooler-than-normal weather for the first three weeks of January, followed by a markedly warmer end to the the month -- from about the 22nd on.

Considering the normal high for February is in 60s, the 2nd month of 2018 could bring a regular return to the 70s or warmer and push those winter jasmine vines to flower with an especially fragrant blossom.

In summary, we are likely in the middle of our, "one month of winter" in Houston before we slide into a long, comfortable springtime. Cheers to that.


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