Warm up day

It was a cold start to today. I got up at 7am due to, well I’m not sure what. But the outside thermometer said it was 10 degrees outside. It’s not just after 1pm and we’ve made it up to 41. Its still cold out there. Any little breeze still registers as cold. Not the best day for a walk.

The forecast says tomorrow should hit a balmy 66. Now I don’t know if that will be a warm 66 or a cool 66, but I’m betting on the latter. But tomorrow night will still be below freezing.

But make no mistake, tomorrow may hit 66 but the day after is back into the 40’s. And we’ll stay there thru the weekend. But next week we should hopefully pull ourselves into a warm up and get into the 60’s. Considering this is central Texas, prolonged cold can be an issue.

I recently read an article about why in this area we are told to keep water dripping. This would be unheard of in other area. But it appears the reason is in part due to our building codes. The article I read mentioned that in areas where it regularly gets cold, pipes are buried deeper underground. For instance, here in central Texas water pipes may only be buried 12″, 1 foot, deep. That means a prolonged cold could affect those pipes. Also here in my house I have 2 faucets on outside walls. The article I read mentioned that pips in other area with prolonged cold bury their pipes much deeper, and don’t put faucets on outside walls. If that’s true, if you bury pipes 5 feet down, they would probably survive prolonged cold better than pipes only buried 1 foot down. Interesting things you have to learn in different areas of the country.

One other hopeful bit of news is that next week, starting Monday we may get rain. I say may since you never know if any one particular area will get the rain, nor how much we will get. But at least it will be warmer and rain. I’d rather that than have rain in cold weather, then get colder weather and have it turn into ice. Ice is never fun to drive in. And I don’t walk my dog in ice. So my dog should be able to get back to daily walks as the weather changes.

The cold man cometh

Once again Texas, and central Texas is in line for cold. The cold this time includes a high today (Saturday) of 62, which I’ve already hit here at the house. Here’s what is coming per Weather.com.

Now I don’t know how cold it will actually get, but I do know that the weather station here at the house registered 28.6F at 11:38 last night.

Now for me, its an issue since this house, new to me, has a heat pump for heating the house. My thermostat does not have a setting to automatically turn on emergency heat when the temperature is too low. Or does it? Well, I don’t know. The good news is last night even with the low temperature outside the house maintained its warmth.

What I’ve been told is that if it gets too cold outside, the heat pump can’t/won’t work efficiently. Apparently there is an emergency heat option available on a heat pump. It’s what you are supposed to use when it gets too cold. Some thermostats are supposed to automatically change to emergency heat when it gets too cold. But I don’t know if that’s true for all thermostats. So I don’t know if mine does. But last night worked well, let’s hope that tonight it works well too. And of course the next few days may be more testing of the system.

It may also let me know if this house was a good choice or not. I know it passed its inspection with minor things to fix. This cold will let me know if there are things it passed, but could be “improved” (isn’t that a nice way to put it!).

UPDATE: It’s 10:15pm and down to 31F already. It will be a cold night.


The gods have smiled down on us. We have gotten some rain. Not a lot mind you, but we had just over an inch or rain here just the other day. And to make it nicer, the temperatures have been cooler too. And we have possibly more rain due here in the next few days (we shall see if that happens). How’s that for good weather.

The cool and wet weather has been a boon to the plants. I had some dead spots in my lawn, and the grass seed I put down has begun to sprout. Areas of my yard plants that I had trimmed, they show new growth. What passes for real autumn has begun to shows itself in the area. It’s amazing what a few degrees of cooler temperatures can do for plants. As I write this, it is mid afternoon, 82 degrees with 78% humidity (I did mention more rain).

And to make the weather even more interesting, next week, actually beginning on Sunday we should get our first real cold front. This coming Sunday, just before Halloween, we should reach a high of 75 then drop down to a cool 37 degrees. And next Monday that cold front should continue with a high of 45 and a low of 37, with Tuesday Halloween Day having a high (wait for it…….) of 51 with a low of 34!! Ladies and gentlemen, get out your coats!

Will we get trick or treater’s that night? Well, that remains to be seen. Hopefully we will get some.

The cold will not last too long. By the end of next week, the first weekend of November, we should be back to the mid 70’s for highs and lows of mid 50’s.

But this is the first signal to get ready for cold and winter. We shall see what we get this season.

The cold cometh

When I got up this morning, it was a balmy 54, and warmed up to 57. It was warm enough to walk my dog wearing a light polar fleece jacket. We did a good walk, saw other dogs and walkers out there.

Now, about 3 hours later, we’ve dropped to 40, and it was 42 just a few minutes ago. The cold has hit.

Just for reference, here in central Texas the things I’ve done to get ready for the cold.

  • Outside faucets are covered, and hoses have been disconnected and the water drained as best as I can.
  • In ground plants I care about (lemon tree, etc.) have been covered.
  • Potted plants have been moved up to the house (up against it on the patio) and covered.
  • I will start an indoor water dripping shortly (before we hit freezing).
  • Wood is piled on the patio (I have a holder for it there) so I can build a fire in the fireplace.
  • I have candles set out in the kitchen (that’s the main area next to the living area).
  • I have gotten extra blankets out on the bed.
  • I even have a spare battery pack charged for my cell phone.
  • I have a small heater by the one water line that froze last time in the garage (it was by the water softener).
  • I have spare water, a case of bottled water.

As a single person in a house I am the only one here to take care of these things. And so I will.

The last time this area got a swath of cold like this we had power outages. So this time I am doing all I can just in case that happens again. I hope we don’t have that, but I’d rather be prepared than not. At least this time we are not expecting any rain, snow, freezing rain, etc. The roads are dry, though it is cloudy, they are not predicting any precipitation. We are expecting to hit a low of about 17 degrees tonight.

Let’s hope I’m prepared.

**UPDATE**: It is now 9pm and it is 16 outside.

12-22-2022 cold front

They are now saying 14 for a low, but I won’t be surprised if we dip below that. There have been some power outages. Luckily we still have power. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Sorry, it’s been a while

I know its been a while since my last post. But we’re almost to the end of the year and we have serious weather conditions on the way. We’ve had some fair weather, its been kind of usual. We had some cool weather, even had a short freeze, but nothing unusual.

Until now.

Today is Wednesday Dec 21, 2022. Today we’ve had a high of 48, and the other day we had a high of maybe 54 with a low of about 48. Tomorrow, Thursday we should, so they say, hit 54 then drop down to a low of 14. We have a record freeze coming in over the next few days. Friday we are looking at a high of 31 and a low of 19. Saturday, Christmas Eve will be 38 and 21. And Christmas day should be 46 and 29. It isn’t until Tuesday that we get out of freezing temperatures. Luckily we don’t expect any rain, so it should just be cold not icy, and not snowy.

But other areas, Denver for example are already in the cold, with nights in the minus temperatures. Seattle has had snow. They are calling it Winter Storm Elliot and saying it could be a “bomb cyclone”. I’m not quite sure what that is. But it is expected to bring cold weather to a wide swath of area.

As expected I’ve turned off water, covered outside faucets, drained water lines, moved and covered plants. I’ve put firewood up on the deck and in the holder on the deck, and I’ve even put a heater in the garage to help keep the water softener line from freezing (that happened before).

It feel awkward having this happen just before Christmas, but I think I have most everything I can think of under control. It makes me glad I’m not going anywhere for Christmas.

Third Winter

There is a meme going around from Texas Storm Chasers (https://texasstormchasers.com/12-seasons-of-texas-second-summer/). According to this, there are 12 seasons in Texas. In order they are:’

  • Winter
  • Fool’s Spring
  • Second Winter
  • Spring of Deception
  • Third Winter
  • The Pollening
  • Actual Spring
  • Summer
  • Hell’s Front Porch
  • False Fall
  • Second Summer
  • Actual Fall

That is a rather good description of what we are in now. I would guess we are in Third Winter. It is now 8:30pm, 44 degrees, and expected to drop to 33 tonight. And this Friday we are expecting to drop down to a low of 28, and they have even said possible snow showers. How’s that for a fun weather pattern? We shall see what happens

Welcome to central Texas weather.

UPDATE: The new forecast says Friday early morning (think 4AM) may be the warmest part of the day. By 4pm we expect to be around 35 degrees, with some possible sleet. That means Saturday morning might be a frigid 24 degrees, but warm up to mid 50’s. Then Sunday could be in the low 70’s. Its Texas folks.

Winter is not gone yet

Yesterday, actually for the past 2 days we have had lovely warm, 80 degree weather. This morning it was all of about 45. And we’re going for a high of maybe 50. Welcome to spring time in central Texas.

To give you an idea of how strange this is, tomorrow night our low should be 33, tonight’s low if 39. Then later this week, Friday we are due to get down to 30, with a low of 32 next Saturday night.

Just for reference, the average last freeze date for this area is Feb. 23, and that was a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure some people are very frustrated, they probably put out transplants figuring freezing nights were behind us. SURPRISE!!

I’m sure some areas are worried about losing crops with this unexpected upcoming cold. And I can’t blame them.

I’ve also notice that the birds are eating seed like its cold. They went through an entire bird feeder since this morning, after leaving it alone for a couple of days. That is what the cold has done to our feathered friends.

UPDATE: its after 4pm, but we made it up to 53 degrees. But make no mistake, the breeze outside has it feeling colder.

Still cold

Okay, its just plain cold. The cold front arrived, nothing spectacular in its arrival. But it has stuck around. Yesterday morning we started out above freezing, not by much but definitely above freezing, I think it was 35. Then it just did a slow slide to about 27 degrees. Then throughout the day it just waffled between 27 and 30 degrees, staying most of the day at about 29. I say about since it might be 29.2 then change to 29.7, then back down. Not a large variation, but a cloudy day. Today has been no better. It started below 32 and now at about 5:30 pm, we have made it to 32.7 degrees. I suppose you can say we are above freezing, but I think that might be splitting hairs. Our high today was supposed to be 33, so I guess you could say we got there. But its still cloudy.

And the forecast for tonight, 27.

Hopefully tomorrow we should reach out of freezing for a high of 40, and a low of 34. But tomorrow should still be cloudy. Saturday will be pretty might like tomorrow except we’ll add light rain. Not my favorite weather. I admit walking the dog in these conditions is not great. He starts walking, then tires of the cold quickly and wants me to carry him.

Hopefully by Sunday the daytime temperatures will climb to the 50’s, even if the night will be back to freezing. Monday both daytime and nighttime temperatures would be above freezing, even thought the nights will still be in the 30’s. But both Sunday and Monday should have some sun, that will be welcome.

Tuesday we will be into March, and with it hopefully better weather. Then we should have daytime temps in the 60’s with nights in the 40’s. Hopefully that will be so. Maybe we’ll get out of this winter weather and get into spring time. That would be nice.

Another cold front

Today we have a love high of 85 degrees. Its was a warm day, no sweater needed. And yet tonight we should drop to 36 degrees. Here in Austin they are calling for a cold front over the next few days. Dallas, a bit north of us, is looking to get freezing rain. We don’t expect that here. Well, we are looking to drop down to 29 tomorrow, and dropping to 30 Thursday evening.

We are also looking at some rain possible tomorrow evening. It could start with showers around 4pm, and the temperatures will still be above freezing. But by 7pm, it may be down to freezing and turn to freezing rain. That is yet to be seen. But the precipitation shouldn’t last long, it should be over by 10pm.

Its possible Thursday early morning (think just after midnight) we could get more freezing rain. But my mid morning we should be back above freezing so any precipitation should revert back to liquid rain. Let’s hope they are right.

Cold front

Once again we have strange weather. We have had a beautiful past few days. Even today we were a warm 70 degrees. I think I saw a short period of 72 today here at the house.

And yet, it is now almost 11PM and we have dropped to 34 degrees. We are expecting to drop to 30. So we will cut our temperature in half today. And tomorrow it will be cool. Tomorrow is only expected to be in the low 50, with a low down to 33.

But the weekend will be back up the 60’s and 70’s. Welcome to the wild weather of central Texas.

Nonetheless, I have made sure that plants are covered and or moved to a warmer spot. Hopefully I will not lose anymore plants. My pink lemon tree took a beating in the cold we had a couple of weeks ago. Even though the tree was covered, some of the ends of the branches were frozen and are now brown. I have cut back some of those branches and they do appear to be alive. So I have moved the pot close to the house, and covered it. With the burnt tips cut off it is easier to move and position in a safe place.

One other thing I am also trying, is I have started some seeds in coconut coir mix. I bought a set of 10 compressed blocks. These came with little containers that your put the compressed blocks in, add warm water, and let them rehydrate. The only thing is that where they do rehydrate, you still need to fluff up the coir. In order to make this easier on me, I have been putting the compressed coir into empty salad containers. Since the grocery store sells salad in these clear plastic type of tubs, with a lid to close, I think it will be a good place to start seeds. I put the blocks in, add water, fluff after they had absorbed water. Then if they are too wet, I can leave the lid off and let water evaporate, but I can put the lid on as necessary in order to keep in warmth, and humidity. Its worth a try.