San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
Email Email | Print Print --

January 31st, 2011
Hays County hunkers
down for arctic blast


Hays County is hunkering down for a front of arctic air forecast to arrive just before daybreak on Tuesday preceded by thunderstorms and rainfall through the night.

Weather forecasters expect a strong arctic front to reach Central Texas between 6-7 a.m. Tuesday. Before the front arrives, rain showers and thunderstorms, with the potential for hail and strong straight-line winds, are expected across the Hill Country and the region through the night. Rain and scattered showers are anticipated Tuesday into early afternoon, but are not expected to portend a significant amount of ice.

“I expect the precipitation to stay all-rain as the precipitation should end before the temperature goes below freezing,” said Bob Rose, the chief meteorologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority. He said the cold front will be comprised of some of the coldest air in many years” to move this far south.

Weather conditions will turn very windy and much colder Tuesday, with north winds gusting to 40 miles per hour. The temperature will drop quickly from the 50s ahead of the arctic front to the low 30s.

Low temperatures on Wednesday are expected in the middle teens across the Hill Country, the upper teens across Central Texas and 20s in the coastal plains.

Forecasters predict a chance of snow flurries late Thursday into Friday in Central and South Texas as a low pressure system tracks out of Mexico into South Texas. Lows Friday include upper teens in the Hill Country, the low 20s in Central Texas and mid-20s toward the coast.

The area is expected to warm up during the weekend into the 40s and 50s Saturday and low 60s on Sunday.

Officials encourage residents to protect people, pets, pipes and plants as the coldest weather of the winter season is expected this week in Texas. Parents should refer to the school district website for information on school closures, officials said.

Protecting people:

  • Check on family members and neighbors who may need assistance

Protecting pets:

  • Keep pets inside, out of severe cold
  • If pets are outside, provide a doghouse with doorway located away from the wind
  • Line doghouse with straw or cedar shavings
  • Make sure they have access to fresh water and food
  • Do not leave antifreeze, coolant or windshield wiper fluid within reach
  • Make sure your cat hasn’t crawled under the car hood for warmth

Protect outside pipes from freezing:

  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house, close foundation vents and use wood or foam blocks to fit vent openings around pipes
  • Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs in molded foam insulation or layers of old newspapers and cover with plastic to keep out moisture
  • If you have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, turn it off
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems

Protect pipes inside the house

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas (crawl space, attic, garage or basement)
  • Open cupboard doors in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Let faucets drip a little if the temperature dips below freezing
  • Know how to shut off water valves

Protect plants:

  • Bring sensitive plants inside
  • Protect roots and foliage of plants with mulch, straw, bubble plastic or cloth
  • Move potted plants out of the wind
Email Email | Print Print


2 thoughts on “Hays County hunkers
down for arctic blast

  1. Wind Advisory Statement as of 3:53 PM CST on January 31, 2011

    … Wind Advisory in effect from 9 am to 6 PM CST Tuesday…

    The National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio has issued a
    Wind Advisory… which is in effect from 9 am to 6 PM CST Tuesday.

    A strong Arctic cold front pushing through The Hill Country and south
    Texas late tonight and Tuesday will bring much colder windy conditions
    to the region. Gusty northerly winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts
    near 35 or 40 mph will develop behind the cold front on Tuesday.
    The gusty north winds will continue into the evening hours and the
    advisory may need to be extended past 6 PM Tuesday.

    Precautionary/preparedness actions…

    A Wind Advisory means that sustained winds of 26 to 39 mph are
    expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult…
    especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *