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Weather Blog: Hot And Humid

by Gene Norman

khou.com

Posted on June 10, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 11:23 PM

UGH!  Well, that's not really a word in the weather dictionary, but Houstonians are all too familiar with that sticky, icky feel to the air.  Women say its a bad hair day and even the pets start panting when the humidity is so high and the mercury climbs.  The amount of moisture in the air, or dew point, combined with the temperature gives us a true measure of the misery expressed as the heat index.  Even if it gets hot during the day with high heat indexes, we've learned to kind of "take it" in Southeast Texas.  The problem lies when we can't even cool off at night.

Our normal low this time of year is 71° and this morning (Thursday), Bush airport reported we got no lower than 81°.  Add to that the high dew points in the mid 70s, even the outside brick on your home is sweating.  Here's what I expect for Friday morning lows to begin the day:

By afternoon, it'll once again feel as though its between 101° and 104°:

Here's the odd thing - the actual temperatures will only be a few degrees above the normal of 90°.  The dew point makes all the difference.  As the sun heats the air, it has to heat the water vapor drops in the air and the air itself.  The lower the spread between the temperature and the dew point, the longer it takes for the air to heat up.  That competition for the sun's rays means that the temperature rises gradually instead of quickly as it would on a day with lower dew points.  At least we had some steady breezes today.  You can thank low pressure in the Texas panhandle for that.  We should continue to feel those breezes through the weekend even as we swelter.  What about rain?  Well, it wouldn't surprise me to see a few brief showers form in that moist air along the coast Friday morning and then drift inland briefly.  These will move in quickly, so count yourself lucky if you do get wet.  Problem is, the rains will end quickly and it will still feel like a steam bath.

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