CHILI (OR CHILLY) IN THE AIR TONIGHT

Late April in southeast Texas should mean temperatures boiling past 90 degrees, and small children wilting under the afternoon sun.

But this week seems destined to slap summer’s warming trend hard in the mouth. Tonight the low temperature in Houston will be nearly 50 degrees. Tuesday’s high reached only the high 60s. People walked outside for lunch — then either grabbed a sweater or walked back inside amid a north wind debris field.

Currently the hardened business class is huddling inside, awaiting the 5 p.m. exit. Temperature with that 15-20 mile per hour north wind is 63. Sounds like chili weather to me.

Are those temperatures obscene in the United States? Certainly not. My old friends in Michigan have a similar current reading (59 degrees), but they will plunge to 30-35 degrees tonight. How about some frost on the windows in the morning, Muskegon faithful?

As a storm watcher, I have studied current and past conditions, as well massive, historic storms. In all likelihood, this is the last cool down Houston will see until mid- to late-October. So enjoy the chilly mornings, enjoy your long-long chili recipes one more time. Wear socks to bed and cuddle in that thick blanket for another 2-3 nights. By Saturday, those days will be over.

After this week, you can pack the sweaters away, stow the firewood and trash that New York-style chili some of you love. Those items will only complicate your pain as the wrath of summer heat arrives, followed in August and September by the fearsome hurricane forecasts.

Here’s to loving the summer heat that makes me stronger — and sweats off the pounds. 

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