Weather in Houston: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Downtown Houston, Texas
Don Klumpp/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Houston is big—really big. The metro area has more square miles than the state of New Jersey, which means enormous variations in climate and weather across the city. The sun could be shining downtown while the city's north side gets pinged with flash flood alerts. Similarly, people in Galveston can be busting out their bikinis and soaking in the sun, while Houstonians pull on their sweaters and reach for umbrellas.

  

Houston's known for having high heat and even higher humidity, and it's a reputation that's well earned. Most of the year, the city's temperatures hop between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 27 degrees Celsius), and you can almost always bet the sun—or the precipitation—will be at maximum capacity. But while warmer temperatures are the norm, it's not uncommon for the mercury to rise 30 degrees throughout a single workday, especially in the winter. Whether you're planning a trip to the beach, a hike or bike trail, or any number of the city's green spaces, knowing what to expect weather-wise can help you better prepare for what you'll encounter. 

While Houston can get a bit stuffy, there are times during the year when it can be downright pleasant. Make no mistake; the city's reputation for being rainy year-round is well deserved. After all, it gets, on average, a whopping 45 inches of precipitation a year, more than drizzly Seattle's 34 inches.

But it also sees a lot of sunshine, clocking an average of 2,633 hours every year. And while the weather can be a little unpredictable, you can pretty much bank on winters being short and summers being long in Houston, albeit with a slight risk for hurricanes

Regardless of the time of year, if you're coming to Houston to visit one of its many great attractions, you'll want to pack layers to adapt to fluctuating temperatures and the ubiquitous air-conditioning.

 

Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest Month: August, 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius)
  • Coldest Month: January, 53 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius)
  • Wettest Month: July, 5.2 inches

Spring in Houston

If you want to enjoy Texas' many outdoor activities, like hiking, camping, or fishing, plan a visit during the spring. March, in particular, sees rising temperatures that aren't yet too hot or too cold. By April and May, temperatures have warmed up significantly, and rainfall has increased. Houston can experience strong thunderstorms, often with hail or lightning, during the late spring months.

What to pack: Spring in Houston is pleasant which means you can pack plenty of cute clothes without worrying about being too cold or too hot. Jeans, blouses, and dresses are all appropriate and bring along a pair of comfortable shoes like ballet flats or booties.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month

March: 72 F / 54 F, 2.4 inches

April: 78 F / 60 F, 3.4 inches

May: 84 F / 66 F, 4.5 inches

Summer in Houston

Summer in Houston is hot and humid, with temperatures sometimes exceeding the triple digits. July is the city's hottest month of the year, but don't worry: Houston's air-conditioning is fully functioning, often to the point where you might need a sweater indoors!

July is the city's sunniest month, with an average of 294 hours of daylight spread throughout the month, but watch out for fast-moving, intense thunderstorms, which can further drive up humidity. 

What to pack: Even though it's summer, you should still have a sweater on your packing list due to the abundant and often-freezing air conditioning mentioned above. Of course, when you're outside, you'll want to wear lightweight, breathable clothing. Don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen either. 

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month

June: 90 F / 72 F, 3.8 inches

July: 92 F / 74 F, 5.2 inches

August: 93 F / 74 F, 3.5 inches

Fall in Houston

By September, temperatures decrease a bit, but it's still quite warm. In October, you can expect more comfortable temperatures with days that are still long and sunny enough to be outdoors.

Fall is also hurricane season. While hurricanes aren't incredibly common, Houston has been affected in the past, especially by heavy flooding and rains. 

What to pack: If you're visiting Houston in September, your packing list shouldn't differ too much from peak summer months—September in Houston is still pretty hot! But later on in the fall, you'll want to pack sweaters, jeans, and long-sleeved T-shirts as temperatures get cooler, especially at night.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month

September: 88 F / 70 F, 3.8 inches

October: 81 F / 61 F, 3.6 inches

November: 71 F / 52 F, 4.1 inches

Winter in Houston

Winters in Houston are mostly dry and cool. Temperatures don't often go below freezing, but a snow or ice storm is possible. January is the coolest month in Houston, while February is the driest, receiving just over three inches of rain. Winter is a great season to go on a road trip to the nearby Texas Hill Country, where you can visit wineries, go birdwatch, or antiquing. 

What to pack: If you're planning a trip to the city between December and March (for the rodeo, for example), you might want to bring along a pea coat and scarf for the coldest days. On warmer days, jeans and a long-sleeved shirt paired with a blazer or light cardigan will usually be warm enough.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month

December: 63 F / 45 F, 4.1 inches

January: 62 F / 44 F, 3.7 inches

February: 65 F / 46 F, 3.2 inches

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Hours of Sunshine

 Average TemperatureAverage RainfallHours of Sunshine
January54 degrees Fahrenheit3.7 inches144
February56 degrees Fahrenheit3.2 inches141
March63 degrees Fahrenheit2.4 inches193
April69 degrees Fahrenheit3.4 inches212
May75 degrees Fahrenheit4.5 inches266
June81 degrees Fahrenheit3.8 inches298
July83 degrees Fahrenheit5.2 inches294
August84 degrees Fahrenheit3.5 inches281
September79 degrees Fahrenheit3.8 inches238
October71 degrees Fahrenheit3.6 inches239
November62 degrees Fahrenheit4.1 inches181
December54 degrees Fahrenheit4.1 inches141