This has been a bit of a weird fall & winter season for CenTex. In a "typical" year, we usually start getting a little rain in late September, and a small relief from the heat with temps going down to the low 90s until mid to late October when we see a few weeks of perfect, 80s. Then November-December tends to give us highs in the 50s-60s, with lows in the 30s, with just enough light frosts to keep us from growing many cold sensitive plants in the ground.
I live about 25-30 miles from the Zone 8 a/b line (on the "a" side of the line), so it varies each year on the minimum temp, but we almost always get around week of temps where it stays around freezing, with hard freezes at night.
This past year it seemed like summer lasted until the end of September, with temps staying around 100 until early October and none of the typical rain showers. Finally around the end of October we got about a week of the perfect fall weather combined with enough humidity to reach the dew point and provide some moisture. Then, out of nowhere, we got hit hard with that polar blast in early November, which caused temps to go from 85 to 25 in under 12 hours. I think that was a hell of a shock to many of my perennials, and I suspect killed some hardy things, like my lavender, Barbados cherry, lemon verbena, and some others. I also observed that the tree cover that was beneficial to the garden in the hot summer causes the garden to be a frost pocket during the winter.
After 4-5 days of freezing cold weather, we've had higher than average temps, with most days being 60-70s° highs (with some 80s thrown in), and nighttime lows in the high 30s-low 40s. Precipitation has been low, with a few, small showers that haven't really soaked everything; although, lately, we've finally gotten a couple of good storms that have actually produced enough water to get through my deep mulch areas. Most of the moisture has been due to dew, which the chickweed, henbit, and winter grass thrive on.
Since it hasn't gotten cold again, the mosquitoes, flies, and ants are still out in force. I've also noticed that I have several things starting to bud out, despite still having a good 6-8 weeks of winter left. I've seen that the giant ragweed is starting to come up, which usually happens in April, plus my apples and many of the oaks still haven't dropped all of their leaves.
Since January & February are our coldest months, I am concerned about things coming out of dormancy and getting damaged by a hard freeze; but I also understand that it happens some years. While I am LOVING these 70°+ days to work on things outside, I do hope we get the usual hard freeze, and that it lasts a week or so. Otherwise, I foresee the upcoming year having a plague of bugs to deal with.
I did breed several rabbits the last few days, so I can probably expect to see a hard freeze in about a month when the litters are due to be born, lol.
Anyway, I think I'm going to take advantage of one of the main perks of a job that lets me work from home, and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather today and hopefully make progress on some projects.