Even though Houston is known for its heat, the city can also experience winter weather and cold temperatures periodically. Icy conditions and wind chills are just a few of the concerns that can happen during our winter months.
Freeze Warning vs. Watch
Freeze Warning: Take Action! When temperatures are forecasted to go below 32°F for a long period of time, NWS issues a freeze warning. This temperature threshold kills some types of commercial crops and residential plants.
Hard Freeze Warning: Take Action! NWS issues a hard freeze warning when temperatures are expected to drop below 28°F for an extended period of time, killing most types of commercial crops and residential plants.
Freeze Watch: Be Prepared: NWS issues a freeze watch when there is a potential for significant, widespread freezing temperatures within the next 24-36 hours. A freeze watch is issued in the autumn until the end of the growing season and in the spring at the start of the growing season.
Frost Advisory: Be Aware: A frost advisory means areas of frost are expected or occurring, posing a threat to sensitive vegetation.
Tips to Stay Safe during Winter Months
- If going outside, wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing and water repellent outer garments.
- Wear mittens (which are warmer than gloves), a hat and scarf to reduce heat loss.
- Prepare vehicles by having a mechanic check the antifreeze level, brakes, heater, defroster, tires and windshield wipers to ensure everything is in good shape.
- Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas. Avoid driving on icy roads, if possible. Those who must be on the road should drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
- Bring pets inside.
- Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency per person and pets. Make sure to have extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats in case the power goes out.