Jan 10, 2024 - Climate

Arctic outbreak will bring freezing temps

Illustration of a cold emoji chattering its teeth.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

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."
Photo: Courtesy of NOAA.

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.

Of note: Staying ahead of the storm, Mayor Kirk Watson and other Austin officials are warning residents to be prepared.

Be smart: Protect your pipes, plants and pets.

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