AUSTIN, Texas - You can tell spring has arrived because we talking more about warmer days, higher humidity and the West Texas Dryline.
The dryline is a boundary separating dry air from very humid air coming off the Gulf of Mexico.
You can find the position of the dryline by looking at the dewpoint temperature which gives you a good indication of how much moisture is in place. If the number is low, the air is dry and if it is high, the air is muggy.
Topography plays a key role in the dryline developing and makes it unique to Texas and southern plains. When the air slides down the eastern slopes of the rockies, it dries out creating a hot and cloudfree area.
As the dry air moves toward lower elevations it encounters lots of moisture slowing down the dryline. This is why it hangs out in West Texas most of the time.
Violent storms can be triggered along this boundary. We call this “dryline magic.”
When the dryline advances eastward it acts like a plow lifting the warm and humid air.
This rising motion makes the atmosphere very unstable allowing the clouds to bubble up into storm. If a wave of low pressure is moving above the drylin, it will help accelerate the vertical motion and the storms could turn severe in a hurry.
When the dryline passes through the area, the skies will clear quickly and the air will dry out and heat up.