AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the new year kicks off, the KXAN First Warning Weather Team is tracking an arctic air mass that has made its way through Texas. The initial front arrived Saturday. However, the coldest air began blowing into Central Texas early Sunday morning, with sub-freezing temperatures settling in for New Year’s Eve celebrations Sunday night. Some spots struggled to even climb above freezing all day long Monday, prompting rare warnings for our area. There is a Hard Freeze Warning in effect until noon Wednesday for almost all of Central Texas for prolonged periods of temperatures below 32°.
- Multiple crashes, icy bridges in Central Texas as frigid conditions set in
- Winter weather reports from the National Weather Service
Freezing temperatures started Saturday night in the Hill Country and took over the Austin metro as early as 6 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a look at one model’s predicted highs for Tuesday afternoon, as well as how temperatures will fall quickly again by Wednesday morning.
Wind chill values are making less of an impact throughout the day Tuesday as winds dwindle down.
It’s possible that we could be 3-5 degrees colder than models indicate by Wednesday morning: it all depends on overnight cloud cover.
The reason our Hard Freeze Warning will expire Wednesday afternoon is thanks to the fact all communities should have more time thaw out as daytime highs climb back in the upper 40s to lower 50s.
While some areas to our north got to see additional snow flurries today, our future radar continues to show the potential for isolated areas of flurries to pop up until drier air takes over tonight. Bridges and overpasses continue to be the greatest areas of concern, if wintry precipitation is present. Otherwise, conditions are largely drying out, area-wide.
With highs only reaching 32° on New Year’s Day, daytime highs hit the coldest temperatures in almost four years. A high of 32° at Camp Mabry isn’t a record cold max temperature, though: we topped out at only 25° back in 1928. Our cold stretch still isn’t expected to rival the longest cold period recorded in Austin, either, where temperatures were below 32° for 140 hours between December 21-27, 1983. Overnight lows into Tuesday morning are about the coldest in a year.
Stay up-to-date regarding this potential winter weather event, as the First Warning Weather team fine tunes the forecast.