84ºF

Why don’t our Houston cold snaps last?

More sweat than sweater weather!

photo
(KPRC)

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HOUSTON – We continue to see just a bunch of several little Houston Winters this year, a day of cold here, a day of cold there. So what’s going on?

First, the Polar Vortex you’ve heard about is quite strong right now, circling around 30 miles above the Arctic and locking in the really cold air. The winds are 150 mph, so you should think of this as a really fast merry-go-round that you’d like to jump off of, but it’s moving too fast!

Warm air eventually works its way into weakening the Polar Vortex, like the merry-go-round slowing down, and cold air can escape, which also buckles the jet stream (those 125 mph winds at 7 miles above the earth) and that buckling lets some cold air spill our way.

Like right now:

The buckling allows colder air to seep our way!
The buckling allows colder air to seep our way!
Ocean Water Temps
Ocean Water Temps

In the above graphic, you’ll notice all the red -- very warm ocean temperatures and that is a huge contributor to our warm atmosphere these days.

While our temperatures this morning were in the 70s, we’ll see them tumble into the 50s later this afternoon. We will have a couple of cold nights with freezing temperatures possibly by Wednesday morning:

Colder air is already moving in!
Colder air is already moving in!

But it doesn’t last long. As you can see, we’re in for another mild weekend AND a very mild Christmas and Christmas Eve:

KPRC2 10-DAY
KPRC2 10-DAY

Christmas sweaters will be a bit of a bust this year! So can you wear them in January? Well, probably not often.

The forecast for that month is coming in warmer than normal:

Milder than normal for the USA
Milder than normal for the USA

The red shading above for the U.S. indicates we start 2020 a lot like the last two years.

By the way, here’s a sneak peek into New Year’s Eve and Day: Dry and warm.

Frank,

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