This is how a change in wind direction can bring a big warm-up

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 17:39:13-05

25 WEATHER — Texas is a big state, and there are a lot of different geological features throughout it.

It's not all flat; some parts are hilly with shrubs and others are overgrown with trees.

Here in Central Texas, we are divided between sharper hills to the west and rolling hills to the east. The boundary is the Balcones Fault, which is roughly where I-35 is located.

The hillier sections here make up the edge of the Edwards Plateau, which also comprises part of what we call Hill Country.

When we get southwest winds in Central Texas, the winds run over the higher elevations of Hill Country and descend to I-35.

That descent may seem gradual, but it's enough to change the temperature of the air.

When air slopes downward over land, it begins to compress a bit. That compression forces the air to warm up.

That's why when we get gusty winds out of the southwest, our temperatures can be much warmer than normal. You have heard this effect be called "downsloping."


With southwesterly winds expected tomorrow and Wednesday, our high temperatures will be pushed into the low-80s for areas along and west of I-35. Elsewhere, temperatures will still easily reach the 70s.

The Waco area will come close to breaking record highs for those dates, but as of right now, it looks like we will come up just short.


With the winds blowing over Hill Country before they make it here, it will, unfortunately, mean another dose of cedar pollen will be blown into the area.