The National Weather Service is warning people to prepare for a hard freeze as the arctic front gripping the nation barrels toward Central Texas.
Temperatures are expected to drop rapidly from a high of 64 degrees today to the low-20s tonight, a plummet of more than 40 degrees in less than 12 hours. With steady north winds of 15 mph and gusts up to 25 mph, it will feel even colder. By midnight, wind chill readings are expected to hunker in the 10- to 15-degree range, according to a hazardous weather advisory issue this morning by the weather service.
On Monday, cold air will continue to move through Hays County and the rest of Central Texas with a projected high in the lower- to mid-30s; it will likely be colder in the Hill Country and low-lying areas along rivers including San Marcos, weather service meteorologists say.
The polar vortex, a swirling mass of frigid air usually contained over upper Canada, is jutting significantly farther south than usual. From Montana to Missouri to the mid-Atlantic, the arctic blast has brought temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero to parts of the country.
The cold weather will persist through Monday and into Monday night. On Tuesday morning, temperatures are expected to remain in the mid- to upper-teens. By mid-day Tuesday, it will start to warm up again, a trend expected to continue through the week.
People should take precautions to protect “people, pipes and pets,” the weather service says: