Cold snap coming!

Friday and Saturday will have freezing temperatures. Picture from

Rain today and a big warm up through Wednesday! Then a cold front comes through with at least some threat of wintry precipitation although that’s looking less likely this far south. Despite that, the cold air behind the front pours in with a huge High Pressure system building behind it funneling cold air from the Rockies. Notice the High measures 1040mb which means the air is very heavy--why heavy? Because cold air sinks and warm air rises--so to record that high of surface pressure the air has to be pretty chilly!

courtesy the Weather Prediction Center NOAA

Now, this is NOT anything like last February where temperatures ranged from 0° to 13° February 16th! But this will be a freeze and cold enough to kill tender vegetation so protect that. Pipes are not usually an issue until temperatures fall below 20° although outdoor, exposed pipes can freeze above that, so wrap them. Drain sprinkler systems and keep those pools running to prevent freezing of above-ground pipes.

And The Models Say...

I put together a chart comparing the different model forecasts--the American, European, Canadian, German, along with the National Weather Service forecast, which I’ll talk more about below. Here’s the chart and keep in mind that the Canadian model has a cold bias. After all, it’s Canadian.

Charting out the temperature forecast for the end of the week

You’ll notice that the National Weather Service has quite the range for lows each morning. I included that based on their graphical model which forecasts for outlying areas, also. For Harris County and surrounding communities, 25-28° is the forecast for Friday with 26-29° for Saturday. Here’s the NWS graphical for Friday Morning and Saturday Morning:

courtesy National Weather Service Houston
courtesy National Weather Service Houston

Hours below freezing is always an issue and we’ll continue to hone in on that as we get closer. In the meantime, protect people, pets, sprinkler systems, pools, plants, and outdoor exposed pipes!


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About the Author:

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