HOUSTON — Many here are thankful that we miss the worst of the arctic blast set to bring widespread sub-zero temperatures to the Midwest this week. Lows there will dip to past -30°F in parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Wind chills there could surpass -50°F in what will be hands-down dangerous cold. (Exposed skin can freeze in those conditions in just a few minutes!) Residents there will no doubt remember this cold wave for years.

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The same system will push sharply colder temps into our region of southeast Texas starting Tuesday 1/29, with readings falling some thirty degrees in just 12 hours, but it won't be nearly as cold as areas 800 miles north of us, where the sub-zero line develops. Lows will not even fall below freezing here, but thanks to gusty conditions, wind chill readings will fall below freezing. You won't need to cover plants (since the true temp will be above freezing), but you will need a heavy jacket and winter hat at the bus stop, or on the way to work tomorrow.

Latest forecast model projections confirm that rain will outrun the arrival of cold air, basically eliminating any chance for frozen precipitation like snow or graupel for Houston. That said, if you travel well east into Louisiana north of I-10, the rain may mix with or briefly turn over to snow. Travel impacts would only happen when the temperature falls below freezing which is not anticipated in the precipitation zone, though if you are traveling far to the east, keep an eye for snow on the roads (northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.)

TIMELINE:

  • 4 PM MON 1/28 - 70° Partly Cloudy and mild
  • 7 PM MON 1/28 - 63° Mostly Cloudy
  • 10 PM MON 1/28 - 60° Band of rain and storms, windy
  • 1 AM TUE 1/29 - 48° Rain and storms push to the coast, windy
    (2AM-5 AM - Snow in Louisiana north of I-10 possible; no travel impacts)
  • 4 AM TUE 1/29 - 40° Skies start to clear, windy
  • 7 AM TUE 1/29 - 36° Wind chills in the 20s!
  • 10 AM TUE 1/29 - 39° Wind chills near freezing
  • 1 PM TUE 1/29 - 43° Partly cloudy and cool
  • 4 PM TUE 1/29 - 45° Partly cloudy and cool

If you're a fan of the warmth, hang in because by the end of the week the 70s return! -Meteorologist Brooks Garner