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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:’
Spring of Deception
Hell’s Front Porch
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.
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.
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.
At 8:45 AM my weather station says its 31 degrees outside. The weather station says its 34 with a wind chill of 22. I believe it. We have only a small chance of any precipitation, and at this temperature it might end up freezing on contact. So we have our cold, and its expected to stick around all day, with these below freezing nights for the next couple of days. The apple trees should be happy.
One thing of interest, is Corpus Christi, on the coast, is in a winter warning. That is unusual. Since it is on the coast, the warm water tends to moderate the temperature, so it doesn’t usually get that cold in that area.
I’ll keep updating.
I wanted to take my dog out at 4pm for a walk so I went out the back to check the weather. Well, at that time we were getting a fix mix of what I am guessing is sleet. It pings when it hits hard surfaces. It’s been light, no real accumulations, but its still coming down, and the temperature has recently dropped. It hasn’t dropped much, its now 29 degrees (5:15 pm). The highest we reached was 32, but we are still due to get colder, 27 tonight. And considering what we’ve seen today, I bet we do get colder. Oh, and the dog has not been tickled to go outside at all. Just reporting.
We’ve have cold, now at almost midnight we are just climbing over 32, but its just below 33 degrees outside. We had what might be called some freezing rain, or maybe not. Cars outside have a sheet of ice on them, but it could just be the light (very light) precipitation and the cold temperatures. But it has been cold. There is just not other way to describe it. It has been cold all day long. And before morning we should get down to 27. The good news is tomorrow should be a balmy 47. We can hope.
I’m not sure I would actually call it rain. Its been more of a mist. Yesterday was cold and humid, think 38 degrees and 99% humidity. I know my weather station never showed the temperature get to 40 during the day.
It slowly warmed up over night. Now, at 7:45pm it’s 58 degrees and still 99% humidity. But it is not rain, nothing is really coming down. My weather station shows we’ve had measurable precipitation of 0.16 inches for the day. That’s why I say its more mist than actual rain coming down. Its left things wet, but nothing coming down from the sky, an umbrella would not have been helpful today.
Tomorrow, Sunday we should warm up to 61, and be 50’s to 60’s next week. Monday night, might get down to almost freezing, we’ll see.
I have lost a few annual. The petunias and the geraniums are pretty much frozen. But those plants I put up y the house are doing well – the lemongrass, lemon tree, etc.
Yesterday we had warm 70+ degree weather. Tonight we have a cold front. Its now 11pm and 32 degrees already. We are forecast for a low of 26, and we might just make that. And yet, tomorrow we should be a high of 52 and low is in the 40’s. And possibly Saturday we may actually get rain. Which mean any plants that are covered need to be uncovered and be allowed to get some rain. Next week we should be back into the 60’s during the day. With any luck we might even get rain a few days next week.
Let’s hope for good weather, even if somewhat warmish weather for January. December was warm, about 11 degrees above normal warm. We’ll see how warm January ends up being.
The weather forecasts have been warning of another cool down. Yesterday, Friday, we had some lovely warm weather. And that is warm weather we’ve had for a few days. But today, its cool and wet. It now just after 2pm, and its 49 degrees outside. Early this morning, I don’t know what time but it was dark, a storm rolled in. We actually had thunder, I’m not sure about lightning, and only a small amount of rain. As of now, 2pm, we’ve only had 0.38 inches of rain. That’s really not much. And the rain came in a slow drizzle type of rain.
But it will be cool to cold the next few days. The low for tonight is forecast to be 36. Tomorrow, Sunday our high is forecast for 49, with a low of 35. None of that should affect many plants. I say many as basil is notorious for dying in cool to cold weather. I don’t trust basil in anything below 40 personally.
But by Monday our high will be back up to 60, with a low of 37. Then we stay in the 60-70’s for highs, with lows mainly in the 50’s. Next Saturday is Christmas and we’re forecast for 76, with a low of 56. Even New Year’s day (the start of 2022) it looks like a high of 66, with a low of 49.
Welcome to this year’s winter in central Texas. At least the start of winter. The rest of the season remains to be seen what transpires.