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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chilly Nights Ahead


After needing the A/C yesterday, you may be inclined to light a fire the next few nights.  The cool front that moved in overnight may have been a bit underwhelming here in Houston, even though folks north of town got quite a dousing.  Clouds lingered in the sky for most of today, but tonight they will thin out, allowing the temperature to drop into the 40s.  Tomorrow night, under clearer skies for a longer period of time, it could get even colder, especially in northern suburbs.  Then, believe it or not, we'll see warmer and muggier weather return by the end of the week.  Why are we on this seeming weather roller coaster?  The answer lies in the high speed, high-altitude winds of the jet stream that steer weather patterns.  Here is what they look like today:

 
 
The "dip", which extends from Houston toward the Great Lakes allows the cool air to fill in behind last night's cold front.  Here is how it will shift by the end of the week:
 
 

Notice the "dip" is gone and the flow, represented by the sold black lines, looks kind of flat.  In meteorology, this is called a "zonal" flow.  It will eventually lead to a "rise" in the flow causing our warm-up.

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy skies become clearer after midnight.  Temperatures fall in into the low 40s from the Woodlands north; mid 40s in Houston and low 50s near the coast. Light north winds 5-10 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny and crisp early, becoming milder by afternoon. Highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Northeast winds become east 5-10 mph.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and cool early, partly cloudy and warmer afternoon.  Highs in the low 70s. East winds becoming southeast 5-10 mph.



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