Before we get into the details of the eclipse, first lets discuss our cold front. Ahead of it, Friday will be quite warm with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees. I expect the cold front to arrive in Houston around 9 p.m.
Along the cold front, mainly south of I-10, there could be a few brief showers as it heads south. Those isolated showers could last as late as midnight around Galveston before the front heads out over the Gulf of Mexico.
Behind the cold front, north winds turn breezy with gusts over 20 mph during the night and during the first half of Saturday.
Temperatures drop to the lower half of the 60s Saturday morning with mostly sunny skies throughout the day.
Obviously, on a normal day, temperatures steadily rise after sunrise. Of course, Saturday is not normal as we have a partial solar eclipse in Houston. The peak will be at 11:58 a.m. when 85% of the sun is blocked by the moon.
How will the eclipse affect the weather? The impact will be minimal, but there will be an impact. In 2017, when a partial eclipse caused about 65% of the sun to be blocked by the moon in our region, temperatures dropped a few degrees. I expect this to happen again this time around. It’s hard to be certain, but I would not be surprised to see a dip of 2 to 5 degrees during the eclipse. During the 2017 eclipse, areas in the path of totality in North Carolina cooled as much as 8 to 12 degrees!
Also, eclipses can reduce wind speed because the atmosphere temporarily settles down. With less heat, there’s less mixing of the air. However, in this case, the primary driver of our breezy winds is the passage of a cold front, as opposed to heat, so it will likely remain breezy through the eclipse.