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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Headed To The Rodeo Tonight? - Pack The Rain Gear

Looks like fans headed to enjoy the first of several nights of calf-scramblin', chuck-wagon racin' and mutton-bustin' will need to prepare for rain. It likely won't really get that soggy until the early evening. Most of Tuesday will be deceptively nice - kind of breezy and balmy actually, as temperatures soar close to 70°:

The same southerly winds that will boost the mercury will also pump abundant Gulf moisture into southeast Texas, prompting the showers. In fact, it looks like the rain will continue into Wednesday as well. Then, something really odd will happen. Wednesday's rain likely changes over to a brief period of sleet and freezing rain early Thursday morning. An arctic blast is set to descend in from the central plains beginning Wednesday night. Our northern neighbors from Waco to Dallas will again deal with an icy mess. This taste of winter will be a little different than the past two - it'll come with very gusty winds. Here's a computer projection of conditions Thursday morning:

This is a dynamic situation that bears watching, so check back here for updates.

In the meantime, the Norman Number in Houston for Tuesday, March 3 is 6:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cloudy, Cool For Trail Riders

It's time to GO TEXAN! This is the day when people who usually wear a suit and tie don their favorite western gear - right down to the boots. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo begins next week, but it really revs up today as the trailriders descend on Memorial Park.

Unfortunately, there won't be much sun and you'll need a jacket to cover those fancy duds. Overcast skies and a steady northeast wind keeps the temperatures in the 40s for most of the day. The actual high may briefly hit 50°. More often than not, this is the kind of weather we get this time of year. Winds aloft come in from the southwest riding up over that cooler surface air, keeping the weather cool and the clouds in place.

Right now, its looking chilly for the parade and there could still be a few spotty sprinkles as things wrap up.

The Norman Number in Houston for Friday, February 27 is 5.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Can You Smell The BBQ?

Arguably, this is one of the best times of the year in Houston - Rodeo Season. The trail riders are getting closer to Memorial Park and Thursday night, the smell of BBQ permeates the NRG Stadium parking lot. The World Championship BBQ gets underway - its just another excuse to par-tay as well as enjoy the great food! 

The weather this time of year is always problematic; it can run the gamut from cold and clammy to muggy and stormy. This year, its the former as Wednesday's winter storm that struck our neighbors to the north moves out and cooler, windy weather arrives. The first two nights of BBQ will be chilly in the mid 40s and then it gets even colder Friday as clouds move back in. By the time of the big parade downtown Saturday, it'll be in the 30s and there might be a few light sprinkles. It should stay liquid, however, no worry for ice or snow.

The Norman Number for Thursday,  February 26 in Houston is 6. After a chilly start, temperatures moderate to the mid 50s with a mix of sun and clouds and a steady north wind. Jacket weather for sure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Weather Misses H-town

A major winter storm is shaping up for the South, but the greatest chance for ice/sleet and snow stays far north of the metro Houston area. The graphic above depicts what the situation looks like Wednesday morning. A cold rain is developing in the Hill Country, part of an upper-level disturbance that will spread the white stuff into the Dallas Metroplex for the second time this week. There is a chance, as cold air hangs on near the ground that some of the rain could briefly mix with some sleet or freeze up on elevated bridges and overpasses. However, this will most likely be a threat for places like Huntsville. Headed to Dallas along I-45 could be quite a challenge, however, so take note of that.

Once the rain moves out, temperatures will moderate a bit, out of the chilly 30s to the low to mid 50s as skies brighten a bit by the afternoon. By Thursday, skies should be mostly sunny, but a north wind keeps it cool in the morning and in the upper 50s by the afternoon. Clouds quickly spread back in Thursday night as fans begin heading down to the BBQ cookoff. Trail riders will arrive under mostly cloudy skies Friday with a slight chance of some light rain. Right now, the parade looks cloudy and chilly - the way it usually is.

The Norman Number for Wednesday, February 25 in Houston is 4 as the day starts wet:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rodeo Weather - Just In Time

The weather is turning, right on cue as trail riders from across east and central Texas head toward Houston for the annual Livestock Show and Rodeo. It never seems to fail that temperatures start dropping, the sky becomes overcast and there's talk of that four letter weather word: snow. Dallas-Fort Worth is practically shut down this morning from a winter storm and while that won't be the Bayou City's fate, it will get cold and some may see some ice.

The setup is classic: a pool of cold air began descending from the central plains on Sunday while an upper-air disturbance emerged from the Rockies. North Texas saw snow, but southeast Texas may see some freezing rain tonight. Here's a computer model depiction for midnight:

The good news is that the surface temperatures will hover just above freezing and the precipitation amounts are expected to be light. Nevertheless, some overpasses and bridges from Conroe northward may get a glaze of ice making travel hazardous.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Different Kind of Spring Break

This time, we're getting a break from Spring weather. The front that literally blew through Southeast Texas today allows a cold air mass to settle in. It means several mornings in the 30s and we may not see 70° weather until Thursday or Friday. We may even see some records fall.

The College Station record for tonight is 33° (1955), Bush's record is 36° (2006), Hobby is 37° (2006). The forecasts for those locations are 32°, 35° and 36°, respectively.

It will be cold as well Tuesday morning and challenge these records as well: Bush 30° (1955), College Station 33° (1955) and Hobby 31° (1955).

Or drought is deepening too. Underwhelming rainfall this weekend didn't help either. For the year, we're down 4.15". Compare that to last year, when we had a 17" surplus.

Next chance for rain isn't likely until next weekend.

TONIGHT: Clear and chilly with a light north breeze. By morning, temperatures slip into the low to mid 30s from Houston northward, mid 40s along the coast.

MONDAY: Sunny and unusually cool with much less wind. Highs barely above 60°.

TUESDAY: Chilly morning followed by a milder afternoon. Mostly sunny skies. Highs in the mid 60s.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Soggy Weekend?

We're headed into the first full weekend of Spring on a cloudy, balmy note. An approaching cool front will spark showers but does it mean a complete weekend washout? How about a 50/50 weekend? Looks like the latter will be case with Saturday possibly being quite stormy. A computer model I trust shows clouds and rain showing up Saturday morning. There could be a few isolated severe storms too, especially by afternoon, so be weather aware. The front moves through early Sunday and leaves behind a refreshing change. Cool and dry northwest winds make for a nicer day to head out to the Bayou City Arts Festival, get in the garden or whatever gets you going. Enjoy the weekend! Next week, it won't feel much like Spring with crisp mornings and cool afternoons. We might not get above 70° until week's end!

Norman Number for Saturday is a 7.

TONIGHT: Cloudy, breezy and balmy with occasional periods of light rain. Lows in the mid to upper 60s with steady southeast winds 5-10 mph.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy with periods of rain early. Stronger showers and thunderstorms likely during the late afternoon and evening. Highs in the low 80s.

SUNDAY: Early clouds exit quickly leading to abundant sunshine. Much cooler and drier with highs in the low 60s. Gusty northwest winds 15-20 mph. Good for kite flying, not so much for those blessed with hair.