A strong cold front sent overnight temperatures plunging to as low as 30 degrees over inland parts of the county. Fortunately, as predicted, Galveston Island and areas close to the bay, avoided freezing temperatures with morning lows of 35 degrees at Scholes International Airport in Galveston, and about 34 degrees near the coast and on the bay. Winds gusting to 29 mph early Tuesday morning, however, made the chill even worse.
Despite the wintry blast, this cold front is relatively modest compared to the cold wave of March 4-6, 1989, which brought morning lows of 28 degrees and afternoon highs of 39 degrees on Galveston Island and temperatures as low as 23 degrees to inland areas of Galveston County.
The good news is that milder temperatures should begin returning by Wednesday with temperatures in the upper 60s by Thursday afternoon and in the upper 60s to low 70s by Friday and Saturday as southerly winds return to the area. The mild air moving across cold near-shore waters will likely mean a reappearance of foggy conditions by sometime Thursday into early Sunday.
Rain chances will also increase later this week into the weekend as southwest winds and an active jet stream set up over the region and a weak cold front moves off the coast on Sunday. The good news is that heaviest rain and greatest chance of thunderstorms and/or severe weather will be off to our north and east.
Additionally, the cold front on Sunday will be very modest compared to this current one and temperatures will only dip a few degrees from the very mild conditions likely this weekend.
March cold waves seldom last very long and I am happy to note that this one fits that pattern!