Static electricity. That can be a real problem at this time of year because the colder the air is by necessity the drier it is as well. For example, the dew point temperature today is generally running in the teens and temperatures are in the lower 40s this afternoon. That puts the relative humidity in the 30% range.
But, you take that same air and warm it up to say 72 degrees such as you might have in your automobile or your home and the relative humidity drops down to around the 10-15% range. Such low humidity levels make it much easier for static electricity to occur. An example would be when you slide out of your car and touch anything metallic you will likely notice a shock or a spark. That is why you need to be particularly careful around fuel pumps at this time of year. You will also notice more of a problem with static cling and static discharges in your home or at work.
The low dew point will also allow the air temperature to quickly drop off as the sun sets tonight. Our skies have cleared, the winds will be settling down after sunset, and we have dry, cool air in place. That is a recipe for a cold night tonight and temperatures should be dropping into the teens and low 20s to start the day Wednesday. Temperatures will be slowly moderating as the week wears on.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.