Here's why it could be a smoggy start to the New Year in Houston

Travis Herzog Image
Saturday, December 31, 2022
New Year's Eve 2023: Houston fireworks and temperature inversion could drop visibility during holiday weekend
EMBED <>More Videos

Keep your guard up! Conditions and the customary fireworks for the new year could put Houston in a situation similar to four years ago, when smog dropped visibility to near zero.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Our weather will be nice this weekend, but Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog says it could be a smoggy start to the New Year in Houston.

Conditions Saturday night will be favorable for fog development, namely light winds under a clear sky. The rapid cooling near the ground will lead to a weather phenomenon known as a temperature inversion, where the air gets warmer the higher you go in the atmosphere. This is the opposite of what normally occurs in the atmosphere.

Temperature inversions make the air stable and keep pollutants and other particles trapped near the ground. They can also lead to fog formation. Given the large number of fireworks that will be set off Saturday night, it could lead to a smoggy situation. Whenever smoke combines with fog, visibilities can drop to near zero.

Something similar happened just four years ago on New Year's Day in 2019, leading to several car accidents and many stranded New Year's revelers.

RELATED: Fog to blame for crashes involving 7 vehicles in Texas City area

Herzog doesn't think it will be as extreme this time around because of a slight southerly breeze that will be with us through the night. Even if it doesn't get as bad as the 2019 New Year's smog, have your guard up just in case you come across a thick patch of smog while celebrating the New Year Saturday night and Sunday morning.

For weather updates, follow Travis Herzog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.