HOUSTON -

Slate-gray skies and a damp chill have been the norm around Houston lately, as winter weather more fitting for Chicago has enveloped much of the Gulf Coast.  But a cold front will slink through Houston late Monday will change all that, at least somewhat.

The chilly weather will stay, but the gray skies will likely turn at least partly blue on Tuesday.  That should brighten the spirits of southeast Texans, many of whom are not used to more than a day or two of gray skies at a time.

Gray skies and drizzle will persist through Monday, but a cold front slices through the area Monday evening, pushing in cool, dry air from the north.  The front will help to scour out the drizzle, dampness and cloudiness, making way for at least partial sunshine for Tuesday.  While the front signals cooler temperatures for Tuesday morning, in the mid 30s in Houston, the sunshine in its wake will help to drive temperatures up to near 50 degrees by Tuesday afternoon.  That's still cool for this time of year, but it's a step in the right direction.

Sunshine won't last long, as clouds eventually win out and take over by Friday, but temperatures will continue to moderate back to more seasonable levels by the end of the week.  Once again, we will be able to trade in our winter coats for more typical winter attire for this region -- a lighter jacket!