HOUSTON -- Recent freezing temperatures in Houston could be seen as a relative heat wave if computer models for a frigid and record-setting Christmas prove true.

Long range forecasts predict the Houston-area could experience cold temperatures in a range that hasn t been seen here in nearly 24 years. Temperatures could be in the teens with highs in only the 20s.

KHOU 11 Meteorologist David Paul warns that these are long-range models that are subject to change. But that as of now the possibility exists for a bitter cold holiday that is worth considering making preparations for your house, plants, and pets.

Take precautions to protect your property specifically your pipes and that irrigation system so it doesn't blow up and do all types of damage to your homes and property, Paul said.

As recently as the winter of 2010 Houston did experience temperatures cold enough to make sprinkler systems burst all over town. But the long-range forecasts are for temperatures that could threaten entire plumbing systems as was the case in the bitter cold winter of 1989. During that cold blast temperatures plummeted into the low teens causing widespread damage, icing over major freeways, and at times freezing fire hydrants making firefighting difficult.

Oh that don't sound good, said downtown carriage driver Steve Ball who says if Houston sees temps in the teens he and his horse Iowa will both stay home.

I would not be out here. I can tell you that much, he said.

In December 1989 Houston set a record low of 11 degrees.

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