The Weather in Houston

Houston is a magical place. Back in my home city, I would have been bathing myself in the coziness of spring for a while by now, yet being a Rice student, I have no choice but to check the weather forecast every twelve hours so that I don’t surprise myself with a 30-degree temperature drop or an accidental thunderstorm when I step out of my room. This habit just paid me off today: had I not checked the weather I would have gone out on tomorrow morning only to discover that the temperature had dropped from 72 to 40. A friend of mine was the one who taught me this lesson: she was wearing shorts and a T-shift on a fine, early November day but had to post on FaceBook to borrow a down jacket at night because the temperature suddenly dropped below 40 over just a few hours. A Texas native who nonetheless is not a Houston native, she apparently didn’t expect the temperature to go this low in the fall semester.

Not only does Houston have such a capricious climate, but it also, for the most part, has only two seasons—summer and winter. If you really think that you are going to experience spring or autumn here, I must sincerely regret your loss. As I struggle through my classes every semester, I would often find myself surrounded by the characteristic Houston heat and humidity on one day and freezing to an ice cube on the other. If you would like to have a taste of spring or fall in Houston, your best bet would be to put on all your winter clothes on a cold day so that what you feel might roughly approximate what you feel during those seasons in a city that has a more benign climate.

Therefore, to get the best out of Houston’s erratic climate, you should probably bring clothes for all four seasons: only so can you use clever combinations to experience whatever you want when there are only two alternating seasons. Also bring with you protective equipment such as raincoats and rainboots: after living here for a year, you would not be surprised when Houston transforms from a desert into a swamp overnight. Lastly, although I’ve said a lot of scary things about the weather in Houston, it does occasionally afford nice days that are good for field trips and hangouts, so definitely take advantage of them when such opportunities arise!