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Weather Facts: Dry line

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Spring is here! That means everything is turning green, the flowers are popping up, temperatures are climbing and the dry line is showing up. Today we'll talk about what it is and how it influences our weather this time of year.

The dry line is a narrow boundary separating hot and dry air from very humid air coming off the Gulf of Mexico.

You can find the position of the dry line by looking at the dew point temperatures which gives you a good indication 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 dry line developing. When the air slides down the eastern slopes of the Rockies it dries out, creating a hot and cloud-free area. At this point a dry line is born.

As the dry air moves toward lower elevations it encounters lots of moisture slowing down the dry line so that is why it normally stays in west Texas.

Violent storms can be triggered along this boundary. Storm chasers call it dry line magic.

When the dry line advances eastward it acts like a plow lifting the warm and moist air.

This rising motion makes the atmosphere very unstable allowing the clouds to bubble up into severe storms.

When the dry line passes through the area, the skies will clear rapidly and the air will dry out and heat up.

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