Weather Week: Snowpocalypse IV - The Iceman Cometh Again?
I am a native Houstonian and, as such, have lived here almost my entire life. I have weathered hurricanes and droughts and even an entire week where the temperature didn't get above 20 and Galveston Bay froze over. But, I've never quite seen a winter like this one.
On average, Houston sees freezing precipitation about once every two to three years, at least in a sizable enough amount to actually count. We could see our fourth such occurrence this winter on Tuesday night.
This all began Sunday when temperatures went from the 70s in the afternoon to the 30s by early evening. A freeze settled in on much of the city with colder than predicted Arctic air moving into Houston and dropping temperatures into the 20s. Try to remember, this is March in Houston. While last night was dry and tonight should remain the same, there will be another reinforcement of cold air moving into the area Tuesday night along with enough moisture in the atmosphere to give us genuine chances of freezing rain or sleet.
Forecasting where and when has been an issue. I've heard some complaints about this, but the very fact that forecasters have been close on winter weather in southeast Texas where it is so rare is quite remarkable. Being off by 50 miles or so on where exactly freezing rain will impact roadways is akin to throwing a golf ball 100 yards and having it land next to a coffee cup. Sure, it didn't go in it, but close is pretty damn spectacular.
The good news is that if there is any freezing rain on the roads, it should begin to melt by late morning when temps rise above freezing. By the end of the week, we'll be back in the 70s. I'd recently said I felt confident our hard freezes were behind us. I'd like to say it again, but clearly Mother Nature is not playing along. So, I'll just say, give it a month and we should be fine. Until then, better not put that winter coat in the back of the closet yet.