Weather Blog

In-Depth: Why highs climb to near 90° Friday

Record highs predicted in Austin

South winds are warming temperatures into the 70s this Valentine's Day afternoon. But an even warmer west wind blowing tomorrow may push temperatures to record highs for this time of year.

Why is a west wind warmer than a south wind?

In Central Texas, the elevation is higher west of I-35 than it is east of I-35. So as a west wind blows, it blows downhill.

According to the laws of physics, moving air downhill (to a lower elevation), increases the atmospheric pressure of the air. This can be called compressional warming.

When you increase the pressure of the air, if all else is equal, the temperature of the air increases as well.

Ideal Gas Law:  p = ρRT  (pressure = density * constant * temperature)

Who says we never apply the classroom to real life? 

See Friday's forecast here

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