Arctic air outbreak — coldest conditions since February 2011
A strong cold front has pushed through the area and the coldest air since February 2011 is moving into the region. Temperatures will be below 28 degrees Fahrenheit from Monday, Jan. 6, at 10 p.m. until Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. Wind chills will still fall into the single digits in the Hill Country and the lower teens elsewhere.
People should at minimum wear hats and gloves or mittens, and cover their face. Hypothermia and frostbite should only be a problem for those spending many hours exposed outside.
Safety tips revolve around the 4 P’s: People, Pets, Plants, and Pipes. People and pets should be indoors Monday night into Tuesday. Wind chills will range from 5 to 15 in the Hill Country, and 10 to 15 elsewhere, including Metro Austin and San Antonio. Expect spikes in the homeless seeking shelters. Plants should be brought indoors if possible. Covering plants may be effective for hardier types, but may not work in some cases with temperatures below freezing for 10 to 14 hours each morning. Pipes are a concern in the Hill Country or in exposed situations such as mobile homes near rivers or streams. Usually nine consecutive hours of temperatures at or below 21 degrees Fahrenheit is enough for unprotected pipes to burst. Covering outdoor faucets, opening up indoor cabinets for warm air flow under sinks, flushing the water out of sprinkler systems, and wrapping exposed pipes offer protection.