Arctic outbreak will bring freezing temps
Our windy weather will turn freezing by next week with the increasing likelihood of a major Arctic outbreak hitting the Lower 48 states.
Threat level: A powerful cold front will bring frigid temperatures to Central Texas on Monday and Tuesday mornings, Bob Fogarty, a New Braunfels-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service, tells Axios.
- The state's power grid operator, ERCOT, issued a notice on Monday warning of potential emergency conditions during the cold snap.
- "ERCOT is closely monitoring the weather conditions moving across Texas this and next week," the organization told Axios in a statement. "Grid conditions are expected to be normal, and ERCOT expects to have sufficient supply to meet demand."
What's happening: The frigid air is associated with a polar vortex event that is slated to break off from its Arctic origins and blast southward.
- Lows might be in the mid-20s Monday morning before bouncing up to 40 degrees — and then diving back down to the upper teens overnight and Tuesday morning.
- The rest of this week will remain mostly sunny and windy before temperatures drop.
What they're saying: "It's going to be a little breezy with this front," Fogarty says, "with pretty low windchills making it feel like less than 5 degrees in parts of the city."
Between the lines: Forecasters are not anticipating precipitation with this storm, which is good news given Texas' recent experience with ice storms.
- The 2021 winter storm left millions of households and businesses without electricity and killed 246 people.
- Plus, last year's ice storm saw frozen, falling tree limbs leading to widespread power outages throughout Austin — and, ultimately, a massive shakeup in City Hall leadership.
Of note: Staying ahead of the storm, Mayor Kirk Watson and other Austin officials are warning residents to be prepared.
- The city opened cold weather shelters last night, which are activated when temperatures are expected to reach 32 degrees or colder overnight.
Be smart: Protect your pipes, plants and pets.
- Check out Austin Energy's winter weather safety tips.
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