Weather

Houston temperatures could dip into 20s, teens with impending arctic blast

It’s unlikely the arctic blast will be as disastrous as the February 2021 freeze, according to Space City Weather.

Cold airmass Texas map
National Weather Service

A cold blast with arctic-like temperatures is set to make its way to Texas in the coming days and temperatures in the Houston area will likely dip into the 20s overnights with some areas in the upper teens.

An arctic front is now set to arrive Sunday, taking temperatures from the low 50s/high 40s into the 30s and potentially below freezing overnight into Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday temperatures should get back into the mid-30s, above freezing, for at least part of the daytime. The coolest temperatures seem likely to occur overnight into Tuesday, with the thermometer in the low 20s and some outlying areas sneaking into the upper teens.

Daytime highs on Tuesday are expected to be above freezing, but then go below freezing back into the 20s again overnight into Wednesday. By Wednesday, temperatures are projected to rise back into the 40s.

Bitterly cold wind chills are possible late Monday through early Wednesday, with NWS forecasting single digit and low teen wind chill values early Tuesday.

 

Windchill map southeast Texas
National Weather Service

“There is still unfortunately quite a bit of uncertainty about the timing of the front,” Eric Berger, a meteorologist with Space City Weather told Houston Public Media. “Some of the latest modeling indicates that it could move in any time between early-to-mid morning Sunday to early morning on Monday.”

Hard freezes and temperatures dipping below 24 degrees will be a threat for several parts of Southeast Texas Sunday night through Tuesday night, according to National Weather Service Houston, which urged that Houston-area residents can expect some long durations of subfreezing temperatures.

RELATED: Despite looming Houston cold front, Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade leaders say 2024 events will go on

“It does appear that the initial front will be dry,” Berger said. “So there’s unlikely to be precipitation with the front.

But freezing precipitation could be possible Monday or Tuesday night, he said.

“There currently is not a strong signal in the models for frozen precipitation, though we will continue to monitor the situation,” according to the weather service.

Power grid stability

With the nationwide arctic blast and temps projected in the negatives in some parts of the state, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a weather watch from Monday through Wednesday. ERCOT is expecting higher electrical demands and the potential for lower reserves. Despite that, grid conditions are expected to be normal and can be monitored on ERCOT’s webpage.

“ERCOT continues to closely monitor the winter weather moving in over the weekend and will deploy all available tools to reliably mange the grid,” according to the organization.

While temperatures are anticipated to dip below freezing in some areas of Houston, it’s unlikely the weather event will be a disastrous as the February 2021 freeze, Winter Storm Uri, that took a major toll on the state’s power grid, according to Space City Weather.

People, pets, plants, pipes

Here are some suggestions Space City Weather made for people looking to prepare ahead of the freezing blast:

  • Bring potted plants indoors. Apply a thick layer of mulch around ground plants, and cover sensitive plants with a sheet.
  • Cover or insulate exposed pipes, including those under raised homes. Turn off sprinkling systems, and open cabinets to expose pipes to indoor heat.
  • Bring pets indoors and ensure warmth for livestock
  • Check on families and neighbors

RELATED: Freezing temperatures are coming to Texas. Here's how to make sure your home is prepared for it.

Residents should begin cold weather preparations before Saturday evening, the weather service suggests.

Warming centers around Houston are opened in major weather events like freezes. Call 2-1-1 for the latest information.

RELATED: Houston plumbers say these simple tips will keep your pipes from freezing