Cold to stay? Not likely.

Snow to start the year in north Alabama, courtesy of the NWS Huntsville

As a kid growing up in Birmingham, even a forecast for the possibility of snow created a huge amount of excitement and while Birmingham got only a wet, melting snow last night, Huntsville to the north had a nice sledding snow!

The cover shot today is from the National Weather Service Huntsville and their video is linked right here. Admit it, watching the snow fall is fun.

For us, we had that first taste of freezing weather today with morning temperatures generally in the 30-32° range for Houston and surrounding cities. Conroe came in with a 25° “hard freeze” for several hours while Huntsville dropped to 27°. And tonight, we’ll have light freezes to the north and west but most of us are out of the freeze zone. Enjoy whatever cold you get while it lasts as temperatures creep back into the 70s by Wednesday and are there again this weekend.

The forecast into next week doesn’t cool down much either:

Cold in the east, warm in the west and near normal here

Looking all the way to spring, the same trend continues:

Warmer weather continues into March courtesy NOAA

The new normal

You’ve probably heard about December’s record warmth in Houston and Climate Central last month put out data showing Houston winters have a 30-year warming trend of almost a full degree (1991-2020) compared to the previous climate normal pattern (1981-2010). Average temperatures in every one of our seasons -- winter, spring, summer and fall -- are above where they used to be, but winter is the season with the greatest temperature increase:

Climate Central today issued this change in our seasonal normals

We will, of course, continue to monitor for any big changes in the jet stream that would allow cold, arctic air to pour our way but so far, it’s looking to stay mild.

Happy New Year!

Frank

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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.