Let me just start with a rundown of temperatures over the past 5 days:
Thursday: Low -- 20° (new record); High -- 42°
Friday: Low -- 21°; High -- 56°
Saturday: Low -- 28°; High -- 65°
Sunday: Low -- 32°; High -- 73°
Monday: Low -- 44°; High -- 75°
An outbreak of Spring Fever has hit not only the Brazos Valley but also much of the Lone Star State and only looks to continue for the next several days. Moisture continues to stream in from the Gulf of Mexico and with a persistent onshore flow, it looks like our February thawing will continue as well after spending the first week and a half of the month in the deep freeze following back-to-back Arctic blasts.
Another contributing factor to our warm up is in a big thanks to the Jetstream. We are experiencing what is refered to as a "zonal flow" which simply means the Jetstream is running flat and straight from the west to the east. With this layout, the cold Winter air stays locked to the north which allows warm and moist air to remain settled right over the top of us. Notice below how the colder blue-ish colors at the end of each day hug the Northern US while the warmer oranges, yellows and reds are found closer to home.
The one hiccup with these warmer temperatures is that the moisture helping to warm us up has
nowhere to go. Therefore -- as you may have noticed -- each morning this week will start off gray and mostly cloudy along with the chance that there could be areas of patchy to dense fog. By the afternoons, however, the sun should be able to fire through the clouds to help rebound temperatures back into the slightly humid 70s.
As of now, it doesn't look like any big fronts will be moving this way anytime soon -- but that's not to say another blast of Winter is not in store for us. (By all means, this is still February!) For now, get out and enjoy this early taste of spring. ...Maybe the Groundhog was on to something after all....