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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Terrific Thursday


By Gene Norman

Follow @genenormanwx on twitter




Ahhh...feels like winter again (by Houston standards, anyway).  One down side is the cedar pollen blown in by Wednesday's gusty winds.  That may be why you're sneezing!  Not sure how long that will stay around, but I can tell you that the chill in the air won't last much longer.  It should be gone by the weekend.  Just in time for...Mardi Gras on Galveston.  The two week celebration on the Island kicks off tomorrow.  The weather looks to cooperate this weekend.  Tomorrow will be coolest day with highs in the mid 60s, but both Saturday and Sunday look good.  Mornings will be mild in the mid 50s and highs near 70°.  Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, but when you're partying - you may not quite see the sky...


TONIGHT: Clear, cool and continued dry.  Temperatures falling into the low 50s in the evening and down to the low 40s by sunrise in Houston.  Some far northern suburbs fall into the mid to upper 30s.  Mid to upper 40s along the coast.  Light and variable winds becoming southeast 2-5 by sunrise.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 8
FRIDAY: Cool morning with mostly sunny skies.  Becoming much milder by afternoon.  Highs in the mid to upper 60s.  Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 8
SATURDAY: Not quite as cool in the morning with mostly sunny skies, then becoming partly cloudy by afternoon.    Lows in the morning in the low 50s, rising to the low 70s by afternoon.
Southeast winds 10-15 mph.

In Houston this Saturday? Join me for Ground Hog Day at the weather museum 5104 Caroline

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blown AWAY!!

By Gene Norman

Follow @genenormanwx on twitter


You can't really tell from this picture, but the wind is actually blowing the water "back" into the Gulf of Mexico.  Last night's cold front was stingy on rainfall, but in its wake, stout 40 mph gusts have buffeted Southeast Texas all day.  Those winds will settle down this evening and temperatures will plummet by morning.  We probably won't see a freeze here in Houston, but some northern neighborhoods could get close depending on how much the wind relaxes.

Here's a look at expected low temperatures state-wide Thursday, the last day of January 2013:


Is it just me, or has this month whizzed by?  It'll be February before you know it and this weekend, Mardi Gras kicks off on Galveston Island.  I'll have some forecasts for that over the next few days, so check back here on the blog for updates.

TONIGHT: Clear with gradually diminishing wind.  Getting much cooler after sunset with temperatures falling from the upper 40s in the evening to the mid 30s in Houston.  Some far northern suburbs could flirt with freezing.  Low 40s along the coast.  Northwest winds 20-25 mph in the evening diminishing to 5-10 mph by early morning.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 9
THURSDAY: Chilly morning gives way to milder, more seasonable afternoon.  Highs in the mid 60s with west winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 8
FRIDAY: Cool morning with mostly sunny skies, then becoming much milder by afternoon.  Lows in the morning in the upper 30s to low 40s, rising to the upper 60s by afternoon.
Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

In Houston this Saturday? Join me for Ground Hog Day at the weather museum 5104 Caroline

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stormy Tonight - Cooler Tomorrow!



By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter

WHOA!!  Hold on to your hat! And that steering wheel, especially if you're headed east and west across town.  Very gusty southerly winds are blowing in advance of the cold front that's already spawning severe weather in the Southern Plains and Mid-Mississippi River Valley.  You can check recent severe weather reports here  The strength of these low-level winds has upped the ante for some severe weather closer to Houston than previously thought.  So, what does that mean for you?  Well, if you have to drive later this evening, be weather aware.  Know what you'd do if the winds picked up or there was a tornado.  It is possible that isolated tornadoes may develop, especially north and east of Houston.  

Here's the newest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma:



The main difference between yesterday and today is that more of Southeast Texas is defined to be in the Slight Risk (yellow) category.  That means more of us could see storms producing gusty wind, hail and isolated tornadoes.  The threat is greatest from 8 pm until the pre-dawn hours Wednesday.  By then, some much colder air will move in on gusty winds from the opposite (northwest) direction.  How much colder?  Well take a look at how much colder it will be across the state by Wednesday morning:


We've been averaging 63° for the past week, so 50° will be a big change.  And it will get even colder tomorrow night.

Check my twitter and Facebook feeds for warnings as they're issued tonight and stay safe!

TONIGHT: Cloudy with showers and stronger thunderstorms from 8 pm until past midnight.  Some storms could be severe with gusty wind, hail and isolated tornadoes.  Temperatures in the low 70s early, then falling rapidly through the upper 50s as the storms move through.  Gusty southerly winds 20-25 mph, then becoming northwest 20-25 as storms move in.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 7
WEDNESDAY: Early morning rain exits, skies rapidly clear.  Much cooler and windy.  Highs in the low 60s.  Northwest winds 20-25 mph, diminishing by early evening.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 8
THURSDAY: Chilly morning, then becoming more seasonable with plenty of sunshine.  Lows in the morning in the mid 30s, close to freezing in far northern neighborhoods.  By afternoon, highs settle in the mid 60s.  West winds 5-10 mph.

In Houston this Saturday? Join me for Ground Hog Day at the weather museum 5104 Caroline

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday Storm Threat


By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter

Yeah, yeah, I know - where's the rain today, Gene?  If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you're probably wondering about that.  The forecast for today called for mostly cloudy skies with intermittent rain.   It never happened, as the upper-level disturbance moved out faster than expected.  However, a new threat looms for tomorrow.  A vigorous upper-level disturbance now in the Four Corners will trek eastward, dragging a cold front with it.  That means that late Tuesday going into early Wednesday, we should expect thunderstorms, some of which could be strong to severe.  The Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma depicts the threat like this:


The greatest threat is from northern Louisiana to eastern Arkansas.  Storms will likely produce tornadoes and hail there.  Storms could produce isolated storms in most of east Texas, but mainly north of the Houston area.  That does mean, however, that places like Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity counties could see a damaging storm or two.  Closer to Houston, we can't rule out a severe storm, but general showers and thunderstorms are more likely.

So just go through a mental checklist: where will you be tomorrow night?  Do you know what you'd do if severe weather struck?  I'll know more about the threat tomorrow and will post an update.  Also, check my twitter and Facebook feeds for warnings as they're issued.

Once the storms move out Wednesday morning, say "bye-bye" to near 80° weather.  Brace for a couple of cold mornings and cool afternoons through the end of the week.

TONIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy and mild.  Lows in the mid to upper 60s with steady southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 6
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy with showers developing by early afternoon.  Stronger thunderstorms likely in the early evening and through the night.  Some storms could be severe with gusty wind, and hail.  Highs in the mid to upper 70s with balmy southerly winds 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 6
WEDNESDAY: Rain exiting in the morning, then steadily clearing skies.  Noticeably cooler with gusty northwest winds.  Highs in the low 60s, northwest winds 15-20 mph.

In Houston this Saturday? Join me for Ground Hog Day at the weather museum 5104 Caroline

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Damp Start To The Week


By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter



This picture above depicts what southeast Texas is expected to look like Monday morning, as you head back to work and school.  It won't mean day-long rain, but more like what we saw today - periods of intermittent sprinkles.  So be prepared for that nuisance rain which will have you tapping your windshield wiper.  Its all part of a weak upper-level disturbance drifting across the state now.  

However, a stronger cold front is expected to move in late Tuesday.  As the front approaches, we could briefly see a period of stronger storms before a big cool down arrives.  When I say big, I mean its the kind of change that will make it feel more like late January in Houston.  Not a bitter blast, but it will replace our near 80° weather with 60s and bring back a chill to the morning.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with periods brief, spotty showers.  Some fog by morning.  Lows in the mid 60s with steady southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY: 7
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy with periods of intermittent rain.  Highs in the mid to upper 70s with balmy southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 6
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy with showers and scattered strong thunderstorms by late afternoon.  Morning lows in the mid to upper 60s followed by highs in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5-10 mph.  Cooler conditions arrive by late evening.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

So...where's winter?

By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter


That's the question someone asked me today on twitter.  I wondered that myself too as I ran errands and saw lots of folks in shorts and tee shirts.  Fact is, it hasn't felt very winter-like in Southeast Texas since the cold departed nearly two weeks ago.  Our highs since last Monday have averaged 75° and a few times this week, some places hit 80°.  Winter made a rude return across the Great Lakes, mid-Atlantic and Northeast with a bitter blast, snow and ice.  But here in Houston, thanks to a nearly stationary moist air mass, we've had foggy mornings and warm afternoons.  The pattern will briefly come to an end by mid-week as a bona-fide cold front pushes through leading to a chill start to February.

So, enjoy the unseasonably warm weather for the next few days.  Then, remember where you put that sweater.

TONIGHT: Fair skies early, with dense fog again developing by sunrise. Lows in the low to mid 60s with light southerly winds 2-5 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SUNDAY: 8
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy skies after dense morning fog lifts. A few spotty showers are possible.  Highs climb to the mid to upper 70s with southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY: 7
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy with occasional, passing showers.  Morning lows in the mid to upper 60s followed by highs in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cruise Control


By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter



It's been a lovely day on Galveston Island and all across Southeast Texas.  Not record warmth, but warm enough - a far cry from how the month started.  Bush topped out at 79° (three shy of the record), Hobby at 80°, also three short of the record and Galveston saw a high of 73° (four degrees off the record).  Now it looks like the front which I anticipated sagging through here tomorrow may not actually make it after all.  So we can expect more days like this.
 
When will our next change arrive?  Probably not until late Sunday.  That's when the southwest flow aloft will allow a few upper-level disturbances to trigger periods of showers.  Until then, enjoy the terrific weather that most of the rest the country wishes they could have.
 
TONIGHT: Fair skies early, with patchy fog developing by sunrise.  Lows in the low 60s with light southerly winds 2-5 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 8
FRIDAY: Partly cloudy skies after early morning fog lifts. Highs climb to the upper 70s with south winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 8
SATURDAY: Areas of dense morning fog and low clouds, then mostly to partly cloudy skies.  Morning lows in the upper 50s followed by highs in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nice For January


By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter




Compared to other parts of the country, Houston's late January weather is pretty easy to take.  Warmer, more moist air has meant foggy mornings, but mild afternoons with a gentle mix of sun and clouds.  the satellite picture above shows the increased clouds this afternoon, especially west of Houston.

The pattern continues for at least one more day before a brief change arrives.  A cool front is slated to move through Friday bringing our first chance of rain in over a week.  But this front won't usher in a prolonged cool down.  Instead, it will stall out, keeping the last part of January on the mild and possibly wet side.  The next "big" temperature drop should arrive in time for the start of February.

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy skies early, then becoming fair and cool.  Patchy to dense fog forms by sunrise.  Lows in the mid 50s.  Light southerly winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 8
THURSDAY: Early fog lifts and skies become partly cloudy.  Highs climb to the upper 70s with south winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 7
FRIDAY: Areas of morning fog and low clouds, then mostly cloudy with a slight chance for a brief, passing shower.  Morning lows in the upper 50s followed by highs in the upper 70s.  Southerly winds 5-10 mph becoming northerly by early evening.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tribute To Doug Brown

By Gene Norman

Follow @genenormanwx on twitter



I'm going to break format for today's blog.  Don't worry, I'll still put the forecast for the next few days as well as the Norman Number below.  But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on someone I consider a mentor in this business as well as a friend.  Doug Brown was remembered today in Houston in a ceremony attended by his two families - his blood relatives and his television ones.  I am fortunate to count myself among the second group.  He passed last week at 79.

When I began my TV career working at KTRK in 1994, one of the first things we did was tape a promo welcoming me to the team of Ed Brandon and Doug Brown.  I'll never forget how nervous I was.  After all, those two are legends in Houston television and I was quite the newbie.  However, I'll also never forget how comfortable both of them made me feel.  Especially Doug; in the promo, he ad-libbed a gesture extending his hand, quipping, "Welcome aboard".
From that moment on, I was "in".  

As you've no doubt read, Doug's trademark was his smile.  He was always smiling, even in the midst of computer melt-downs, camera miscues or any other technical malady that befalls even the best television newscast.  His smile replaced chaos with calm and an assurance that everything was going to be alright.  

There were often times when we were in the weather office together and he took the time to show me something.  That's rare in this business, which can sometimes be full of egos and fear.  Doug would do it smartly, though.  He'd ask me a question, like, "Gene, do you know what day of the week has had the most rain this month?"  Of course, I didn't and he'd whip up a graphic showing the trend he'd tracked.  Doug had a way of making weather information "real" to people.  In the midst of the computerization of television weather, he was originally authentic.  That's an approach I've tried to emulate in my career; with varying degrees of success.

Thank you Doug Brown, for being my friend; you will be missed.

Kleenex please...and now here's the forecast:

TONIGHT: Fair and cool.  Lows in the upper 40s.  Patchy fog by sunrise.  Winds near calm..

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 9
WEDNESDAY: Early patchy fog lifts and skies become partly cloudy.  Highs climb to the low 70s with east to southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 8
THURSDAY: Areas of morning fog and low clouds, then becoming partly to mostly cloudy by afternoon.  Morning lows in the mid 50s followed by highs in the mid 70s.  Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Monday, January 21, 2013

More Days Like This



By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter



We're enjoying some really nice weather as we observance Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.  The picture above from Katy shows sunshine mixed in among several cloud layers.  Even though a cool front is poised to slip in overnight, it may not bring much of a change.  At best, we can expect a brief wind shift to the northeast, but by tomorrow through Thursday, southerly winds return.  That will mean mild to warm afternoons and cool mornings and episodes of morning fog will likely develop as well.  

The next big change will be a cool-down Friday after a stronger cold front arrives late Thursday, so enjoy this weather while it lasts.  

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and cool.  Temperatures bottoming out in the upper 40s.  Some low clouds and patchy fog by sunrise.  Light northeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 8
TUESDAY: Early patchy fog lifts and skies remain partly cloudy.  Highs climb to the low 70s with east to southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 8
WEDNESDAY: Areas of patchy morning fog and low clouds, becoming partly cloudy by afternoon.  Morning lows in the low 50s followed by highs in the low 70s.  Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Foggy Pattern?


By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter


The milder, more moist air led to dense fog this Sunday morning and we can expect a repeat for Monday.  If you're headed out to an MLK event or anywhere else early, be prepared to fire up the low beams.  In fact, low clouds and fog might be a pattern we should expect nearly every morning of this upcoming week.  A cool front to our north will fizzle as it drifts southward late Monday so no rain is likely and neither is a return of last week's cold snap.  In fact, temperatures this week could approach or surpass 70°before a stronger front arrives by the end of the week.

TONIGHT: Fair and cool before midnight with dense fog developing after midnight through early morning.  Temperatures falling through the 50s and bottoming out in the upper 40s.  Light to calm wind.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY, MLK DAY: 8
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY: Dense fog lifting as parade festivities get underway.  Partly cloudy skies for the rest of the day.  A cool morning, becomes much warmer with highs in the mid to upper 60s.  Northeast and east winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 8
TUESDAY: Areas of dense fog early, then partly cloudy and mild.  Morning lows in the mid 40s; afternoon highs in the low 70s.  East to southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gorgeous Days Go On

By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter


Going to keep this short so I can go out and enjoy this wonderful weather.  First, I'm happy to report that it's going to stay like this for the next few days with only some minor changes.  In the morning, there might be some fog or haze forming in the more moist air.  Then, a cool front pushes through late Monday night, but without providing any rain. The most we should expect is a change in wind direction.  Otherwise, our next best chance for rain won't arrive until late next week.

The weather looks good for the annual MLK parade set to kick off Monday at 10 am in front of Minute Maid Park.  Here's what it looked like last year, when it was in the balmy 70s under cloudy skies:


If you're headed there this year, bring a jacket; it'll be briefly cool.

TONIGHT: Fair and cool.  Temperatures falling through the 50s and bottoming out in the mid 40s in town.  Light southeast winds 5-10 mph.  Areas of fog develop toward sunrise; could be briefly dense in spots.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SUNDAY: 9
SUNDAY: A cool morning, then becoming much warmer with a mix of sun and fair weather clouds.  Highs in the upper 60s with southerly winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY, MLK DAY: 8
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY: Areas of fog early with a brief cool feel.  10 am parade weather: partly cloudy, cool with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s and light northerly winds.  For the rest of the day, partly cloudy skies and mild highs in the mid 60s.  North winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Visit: genenormanweather.com
genenorman.brandyourself.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Great Houston Weekend & DC Outlook

By Gene Norman
Follow @genenormanwx on twitter

Making outdoor plans this weekend? You should; the weather will be nice; a bit cool in the morning, but seasonable by afternoon with plenty of sunshine. The high pressure cell that has kept us dry the past few days is slowly sliding to our east. By late Saturday and Sunday, southeast winds return, but that will just take some of the dryness out of the air and allow for a few clouds to form. Rain, however, isn't in the cards for another week.

I know some fortunate folks who are headed to the Nation's capital to see the Inauguration and they've been asking me if they'll be Popsicles like 4 years ago. It'll be cold, but not too frigid. Of course, if you're from Texas and spend several hours standing outside in 30° weather - it'll feel like the North Pole. However, it won't be the single digit wind chill that greeted the record throngs for President Obama's first swearing in ceremony back in 2009. It will be cloudy, though and breezy and by day's end, there could be a few flurries. If you're headed there or know someone who is, bring plenty of layers and travel safely.

TONIGHT: Clear and chilly. Temperatures near freezing north of I-10. In Houston, expect lows around 39° with mid 40s along the coast. Nearly calm wind.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 8
SATURDAY: A cool morning, then milder with mostly sunny skies. Highs in the mid to upper 60s with northeast winds becoming southeast 5-10 mph by late afternoon.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SUNDAY: 8
SUNDAY: Cool early on wit mostly sunny skies. A few fair weather clouds develop by afternoon. Mild with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cruise Control



By Gene Norman
 on twitter

After our coldest morning so far this winter, we're settling in for a steady and quiet weather pattern.  This morning, the mercury plunged all the way down to 29° at Bush airport.  Several locations north of the city spent anywhere from 8 to 10 hours below the freezing mark.  Even Galveston was cold, waking up to 36°.  Prior to this morning, the coldest we'd seen was 30° back on December 30, 2012.  We've recovered nicely to a high of 62° thanks to the abundant sunshine, dry conditions and fairly calm wind.  A high pressure cell parked firmly over the state will keep us dry for the next few days.  It's been a while since we've seen a satellite picture that looked like this:



By the way, those lighter specks you see in northeast Texas are lakes.  In this infrared satellite image from this afternoon, the darker colors indicate colder temperatures.  The lakes are still a bit warmer than the ground, so they show up lighter.

The high pressure cell will slowly drift over us and then off to our east the next few days, keeping us in this mild pattern.  Even though a more moist flow returns by early next week, it could a long while (week or so) before we see the next significant rains.

TONIGHT: Clear and cold.  Temperatures falling below freezing for a few hours north of I-10.  In Houston, expect lows around 34° with low 40s along the coast.  Nearly calm wind.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 8
FRIDAY: A crisp start, then much milder with plenty of sunshine.  Highs in the low 60s with light northeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 8
SATURDAY: Cool morning followed by a mild afternoon with mostly sunny skies.  Highs in the mid 60s.  Northeast wind early becoming east 5-10 mph by afternoon.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hello Sun!


By Gene Norman
 on twitter



At LAST!!!  The sun returned today, even a bit earlier than I expected.  While it was still cool out and the wind was brisk, at least we could see blue skies.  The view above is from Moody Gardens late this afternoon.  Now one consequence of the clear skies tonight will be a series of colder nights.  Yes, it has been chilly the last few days thanks to the clouds and rain, but we've been spared freezing temperatures.  Get ready - they return tonight; here's a look at what I'm forecasting for Houston the next few mornings:



The good news is that the cold weather of the past week won't follow us into next week.  A milder weather pattern sets up starting Sunday and lasts through at least next Thursday.  Don't put away your coats and long johns for good - January isn't quite over just yet.

TONIGHT: Clear, chilly and less windy with temperatures falling below freezing for several hours in locations north of I-10.  In Houston, expect freezing temperatures for an hour or two with mid to upper 30s along the coast.  North winds decreasing to 2-5 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 7
THURSDAY: Sunny but chilly early, then becoming milder but still dry.  Highs in the mid 50s with light north winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 8
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny after a crisp morning.  Temperatures gradually climb close to 60° by mid afternoon.  Northeast wind 5-10 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's Almost Over


By Gene Norman



Yeah, I know, it is January, but this chill-to-the-bone feeling and dreary skies are, well, depressing.  Not to mention the occasional dribble of rain that has you occasionally tapping the windshield wiper.  There is a glimmer of hope though; things will begin to turn around in a few days so expect long lines at the car wash when the sun returns.

While we didn't break any records for cold mornings, we came close to another kind or record today.  The lowest high temperature on this date was 37° set in 1917.  We began the day at 37° and the thermometer only nudged up two degrees all day.  

So, what's next?  I'm tracking one final round of light to moderate rain sliding in from the southwest.  That should arrive later tonight and again, there could be a rain/sleet mix mainly in locations north of I-10.  I don't expect icing on any roads, but they could be slick, especially where temperatures flirt with freezing, from Montgomery County northward.  After tonight's last round of rain, gradual clearing will occur as another in a series of upper-level lows pulls across the state:



This one is a little further north than the one that gave us the deluge last week.  However, the point is, we're continuing this pattern of west coast disturbances that move across Texas after cold air settles in.  If the timing of these two is just right for us, it could lead to the kind of snow Dallas saw this morning.  Looking down the road, I don't see that happening, but the pattern could re-establish itself later this month.

TONIGHT: Cloudy and cold with periods of light rain mixing with or briefly changing to sleet mainly north of I-10.  Lows fall in the mid 30s, but near freezing from Montgomery County northward.  Steady north winds 10-15 mph leading to wind chills in the upper 20s.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 5
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy and cold early with cloud bases lifting by late afternoon.  There may actually be some sun peeking through in western neighborhoods towards the end of the day.  Temperatures start in the mid 30s but slowly rise to the upper 40s.  North winds 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 8
THURSDAY: Sunshine returns.  After a near freezing cold start, temperatures steady warm to near 60°.  West, northwest wind 10-15 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hunkering Down For The COLD

By Gene Norman



We're all used to hearing "Hunker Down" when it comes to a tropical threat.  This time, that same refrain can be heard as we huddle inside trying to stay warm as the cold settles in.  So don't expect a run on bread and milk at the grocery store.  More like soup and oatmeal as the familiar pattern we've seen for the last month continues to hold sway.  A high pressure cell is keeping the air cold at the surface while upper level winds aloft bring milder air overhead.  That's keeping clouds in place and periodic disturbances in that flow are bringing periods of rain.

As the next round of rain moves in overnight, temperatures may get cold enough to allow some of the rain to mix with or change to sleet.  That's especially true in north and northwestern neighborhoods.

So when does it all change?  Looks like the pattern breaks down by Thursday and we'll get some milder air in here and finally see some sun.  Remember the sun?

TONIGHT: Cloudy and cold with gradually decreasing temperatures overnight. Periods of light rain developing by morning.  Lows fall into the mid to upper 30s with steady north winds 8-12 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 3
TUESDAY: Cloudy and cold with periods of intermittent rain in the morning becoming steady by afternoon and continuing into the evening. Some of the light may mix with sleet north of Houston, especially in the morning.  Highs barely above 40° with north winds 10-15 mph.  Wind chills in the upper 30s.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 3
WEDNESDAY: Periods of rain through the day.  Chilly with temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s.  Northeast wind 10-15 mph.  Wind chills in the upper 30s.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

COLD Returns

By Gene Norman




This just about says it all.  The cold front moved in today, dropping us from Saturday's mid 70s to a 50° high today (although we spent most of the day in the 40s.).  Now get set for a cold week ahead with morning temperatures in the 30s and daytime highs staying below 50° until Thursday.  That's what really makes it cold - the lack of change in temperature through the day.  

Even though the rain tapered off today, we can expect more periods of wet weather, starting as early as tomorrow and continuing off and on Tuesday and Wednesday.  And yes, it could be cold enough in some northern neighborhoods for a repeat of the rain/sleet mix we saw at the end of 2012.  But as was the case for that episode, the ground will still be above freezing, so no accumulation is expected.

So the bottom line for this is bundle up and keep an umbrella handy.  On average the next three weeks are typically our coldest of the year, so we shouldn't be too surprised at the trend.

TONIGHT: Cloudy and cold with gradually decreasing temperatures overnight.  Lows fall into the mid to upper 30s with steady north winds 8-12 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY: 4
MONDAY: Cloudy and cold with periods of intermittent rain developing by afternoon.  Highs in the low 40s with north winds 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 3
TUESDAY: Periods of rain in the morning tapering off by early afternoon and then picking up again by early evening.  Otherwise overcast and cold.  Highs in the low 40s. Northeast wind 10-15 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bracing For A Bitter Blast!

By Gene Norman


Even though its been cloudy, gusty southerly winds have boosted temperatures into the 70s.  Not quite a record (which is 81°), but plenty balmy for early January.  In weather, there's a saying: "what goes up, must come down".  Whenever I see extreme temperatures in one direction, they're usually quickly followed by the reverse.  That will be the case tonight as a strong cold front pushes across Southeast Texas.  It's easy to spot the front on this map of temperatures late this afternoon:


It stretches from Texarkana to San Angelo.  Dallas is in the 50s, while we swelter (relatively speaking) in the 70s.  Storms are expected to break out along the front and yes, it still means that Houston Marathon runners should expect at least a wet course, even though it might not be raining at the starting gun.  They should also NOT expect it to feel anywhere near as mild Sunday morning.  Be sure to bundle up because a big drop in temperatures will be accompanied by very gusty winds out of the northwest.  Here's a forecast for rainfall totals by 7 am Sunday:


The light and dark green represent totals between 1" to 1.5" the light blue represents .5" to 1" amounts.

Even after the front clears sometime in the late afternoon, upper-level winds will continue to stream clouds over the cold surface air.  This "over-running" pattern is familiar; we've seen it since before Christmas.  While we we'll flirt with freezing temperatures most of this week, it'll be cold-to-the-bone simply because it won't get out of the 40s for several days in a row.  Stock up on soup and get ready to fire up the furnace again.

Finally, a check on New England weather shows a cool afternoon in store tomorrow when the Texans tangle with (and beat) the Patriots.  At game time, it will be in the upper 40s with the mercury slipping to the low 40s by the fourth quarter.  Breezy and cloudy in Foxboro, but rain shouldn't be an issue.


TONIGHT: Cloudy, windy and balmy early with showers and thunderstorms developing by midnight.  Some storms could become strong with gusty wind the main threat. By daybreak, gusty northwest winds build in 15-25 mph. Temperatures fall from the 60s to the low 50s by early Sunday morning.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SUNDAY: 3
SUNDAY: Much colder and windier with lingering morning rain tapering off by mid-morning.  Skies remain mostly cloudy for the rest of the day.  Temperatures hover in the mid to upper 40s with gusty north winds 15-20 mph, making for wind chills in the upper 30s.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR MONDAY: 4
MONDAY: Cloudy, cold and raw with morning temperatures in the mid 30s.  Keep the umbrella handy as there may be a few periods of light rain by late afternoon increasing into the evening.  Highs in the mid to upper 40s. Steady north wind 10-15 mph.

Feel free to leave a comment and please tell a friend about the blog.

And oh yeah - GO TEXANS!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekend Rain, Then COLD!

By Gene Norman


As expected, the clouds have come streaming back this Friday afternoon and we're headed for some dramatic changes by the time Sunday arrives. I know a lot of you want to know what that means for the Houston Marathon Sunday morning. The image below depicts a cold front moving through Southeast Texas just before the runners take off. So the course may be wet, but more importantly, it will be getting colder and windier as the morning goes on. Make sure you're prepared for the changes, whether you're running or supporting someone who is.

As that front passes, it will usher in a return of winter temperatures, meaning morning lows in the 30s for several mornings next week. Daytime highs will also remain cool in the 50s, so enjoy the rather mild weather of the next few days before the changes arrive.

Now, how about our Texans? Well, Foxboro will be cloudy, cool and windy. Can't rule out a brief sprinkle, but rain won't be a big problem. Actually, sort of mild by mid-January New England standards. Kickoff temperature of 52° and as the game wears on it'll fall through the 40s.

TONIGHT: Cloudy with isolated light showers possible, mainly near the coast and south and west of town. Mild with temperatures in the low 60s. Southerly winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 5
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy with occasional light showers early. Rain picks up toward the evening. Temperatures mild in the mid to upper 70s. Winds southerly 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SUNDAY: 3
SUNDAY: Pre-dawn showers followed by a dramatic shift in wind and much colder air. Remaining mostly cloudy with temperatures falling from the upper 50s in the morning to the 40s. Gusty northwest winds 10-20 mph give a wind chill in the upper 30s.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell a friend about the blog.
And oh yeah - GO TEXANS!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Rain Intermission

By Gene Norman


Wasn't it great to see the SUN return today!  Frankly, it was more than I expected, faster than I expected, but who can complain about a 180° turn around from yesterday's dreary drenching.  The system that impacted us yesterday went on to soak our Cajun cousins to the east.  Not only did they see rain in Louisiana, but also severe weather.  The first tornado of the young year was recorded in Plaquemine and there was roof damage to homes near Franklinton.

Typically, you might expect to have a nice cool down in the wake of strong storms.  That usually is the case with cold fronts, but not always.  Thanks to the sun, today was a bit warmer than yesterday (we hit a high of 69°).  Tonight, clear skies will allow temperatures to cool across most of the state, including southeast Texas, but I don't see several nights like this:


In fact, the tail end of the cold front that deluged us yesterday will lift back up out of the Gulf as warm front, causing a quick return of clouds Friday and even, yes, some more rain.  The amounts will be tame compared to the last two days.  For a comprehensive look at the wet start to 2013, check this link: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/?n=pns_2013_01_10_wet_start_to_2013.
Heading into the weekend, we could see even more rain as another cold front arrives Saturday going into Sunday.  By the way, that front will cool us down.

TONIGHT: Clear skies leading to a cooler feel.  Temperatures by morning will fall to the upper 40s in Houston, mid 40s north of town and mid 50s along the coast.  There may be patchy ground fog developing around sunrise, especially near the coast.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 7
FRIDAY:  Early patchy morning fog clears and skies become partially sunny.  However, clouds stream back in from the south during the late afternoon.  Despite that southerly winds boost temperatures to the low to mid 70s.  

NORMAN NUMBER FOR SATURDAY: 5
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy and foggy with periods of light rain early becoming steadier, more widespread showers by afternoon.  Mild and more humid with temperatures in the low 70s.  Breezy southerly winds 10-15 mph.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell a friend about the blog.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Enough already!!!

By Gene Norman



Even though we've known about this for several days, now we just want it to end. As advertised, the heaviest of the rain indeed fell today across most of metro Houston creating a traffic mess for some and high water for others. Thankfully, we have so far been spared the tornado threat, although some of the storms did bring high winds n spots. A 39 mph gust was recorded on Jamaica Beach.

Still waiting for the official rainfall tally, so please continue to check my twitter feed and I might also be able to blog about that tomorrow. So, when DOES all this icky (new weather term) end? The worst of the rain moves out tonight. The water vapor image below highlights where the center of this rainmaker is - still out by the Big Bend where I've drawn a red "L". That system will pull up toward the Red River slowly. As it does so, our rain threat will continue to diminish.

TONIGHT: Periods of steady rain, gradually decreasing. However, runoff may cause additional rises to creeks and rivers. Even as the rain ends, skies remain cloudy and foggy with temperatures holding in the low 60s. Southerly winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 5
THURSDAY: Mainly cloudy and foggy with light drizzle ending by mid-morning. Slowly clearing skies by late afternoon. Milder with temperatures rising from the upper 50s early on to low 70s by afternoon. Southerly winds becoming westerly 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR FRIDAY: 6
FRIDAY: Fair and cool early on with increasing clouds by late afternoon. Temperatures in the morning start in the low 50s, but climb to about 70°. Southeast winds 5-10 mph.

Pease feel free to leave a comment and tell a friend about the blog.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bracing For The Worst

By Gene Norman



Our soggy Tuesday is just the beginning of more stormy weather. We're under a flash flood watch through early Thursday morning and so far, with the rain coming in waves, the impact has been minimal. Rainfall totals today: Pearland 1.32", Bush .29", Hobby .75", Galveston .15", but College Station recorded 1.06", a record for this date. Get ready for more rain and the brunt of a severe weather threat. Initially, computer models were taking a low pressure system that was in California and moving it across Texas. That system was supposed to clear out by Wednesday. However, the depiction below shows the low "wrapping up" and moving more slowly out of west Texas. This means a more prolonged period of rain and, because of the orientation of the low pressure, a better chance for severe weather in the form of isolated tornadoes.

The swatch of orange/yellow in the depiction below near Houston is a sign to me that storms will line up and "train", or repeatedly move across the same areas. Even though today's rain has been light, don't let your guard down because we're on the verge of the worst of this storm episode.

TONIGHT: Periods of steady rain, increasing overnight. Some of the rain could lead to flash flooding and high water on roadways. Use caution and NEVER drive over roads covered with water. Temperatures holding in the low 60s. East to southeast winds 5-10 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 3
WEDNESDAY: Thunderstorms producing periods of heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding. Some storms may contain brief, isolated tornadoes. Temperatures in the mid 60s. Southeast winds 10-15 mph and higher in thunderstorm gusts.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR THURSDAY: 4
THURSDAY: Rain coming to an end by mid-morning with slowly clearing skies by late afternoon. Highs in the mid 60s falling through the 50s by afternoon. Southerly winds becoming west 10-15 mph.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Flood & Severe Storm Threat

By Gene Norman




The clouds are already beginning to stream back in this afternoon, but some light rain might begin to develop in far southern neighborhoods late tonight. The image here shows the rain forecast for the next few days. The estimates run anywhere from 4 to 7 inches across a large part of east and southeast Texas. This means we could see flash flooding Tuesday into Wednesday. A vigorous storm system which was in California a few days ago will strengthen as it pulls out from West Texas. Warm, moist air from the Gulf will be drawn inland as fuel for the system. Upper-level winds will be in a prime position to allow strong to severe storms to form which may produce TORNADOES.

It is very important that you stay tuned to this feed and stay aware of the rapidly-changing conditions.

TONGHT: Cloudy and cool with isolated pockets of light rain far south and west of Houston. Temperatures in the low 50s with steady east winds 8-12 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR TUESDAY: 4
TUESDAY: Periods of light rain becoming steadier and heavier through the day. Rapid rainfall may lead to flash flooding and high water on roads. Temperatures in the mid 60s with east winds 10-15 mph.

NORMAN NUMBER FOR WEDNESDAY: 3
WEDNESDAY: Periods of heavy rain accompanied by strong to severe thunderstorms which may produce isolated TORNADOES. Temperatures in the mid 60s to near 70. Southeast winds 10-15 mph.




Friday, January 4, 2013

Playoff Weather - GO TEXANS!!

By Gene Norman


Maybe a victory will warm the hearts of Houstonians, weary from this recent spate of cold, wintry weather.  We can only hope!  In the meantime, some of the chill will wear off this weekend, but don't put those umbrellas away just quite yet.  A disturbance sliding across Texas that brought a mix of rain and sleet here will finally move away, but not before dragging a cold front through southeast Texas.  Here's a depiction for 1 pm Saturday:




So, if you're tailgating or going to the game vs. the Bengals, be sure to pack the rain gear.  The best hope is that most of the rain moves out by halftime with skies remaining cloudy as fans leave, hopefully in a good mood.  It will also be cool so wear a sweatshirt or coat under that jersey and poncho.  

After that, well finally see some sunshine returning for Sunday and the first part of next week.  However, another rainmaker moves in by midweek.

TONIGHT: Cloudy and chilly with periods of light rain returning in the overnight hours.  Again, some of the rain could mix with sleet in neighborhoods mainly north of Houston.  Temperatures mainly in the upper 30s to low 40s.  Northeast winds 5-10 mph.

SATURDAY'S NORMAN NUMBER: 4
SATURDAY: Periods of steady to moderate rain through mid-afternoon, then remaining cloudy and cool with highs at or below 50°. Northeast winds 10-15 mph.

SUNDAY'S NORMAN NUMBER: 6
SUNDAY: Cloudy and cold start with gradually increasing sunshine by afternoon.  Morning lows again in the upper 30s to low 40s, but warming to the low 60s by afternoon.  North winds 5-10 mph.

Thanks for reading my blog; feel free to tell a friend and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!  And GO TEXANS!!!