Last day to prep before the Arctic blast arrives

Wind Chill Watch in place Thursday 6 am - Friday 12 pm
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:35 AM CST
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Happy 1st day of winter! Winter officially begins at 3:48 this afternoon. Today also marks the shortest day of the year with only 10 hours, 5 minutes, and 33 seconds of daylight. Starting tomorrow our days will begin to grow longer until the start of summer on June 21st.

Another cool and cloudy day is in store for Wednesday. Today is the LAST day before the cold, Arctic blast arrives. Make sure your PIPES, PLANTS, PETS, and PEOPLE (YOU), are protected before you head to bed tonight. We’re expecting *at least two days with morning lows below 20°, at least two days of afternoon temperatures below 30°, and strong wind gusts dropping wind chills into the single digits and even below zero at times. These expected wind chill values could easily result in hypothermia if you’re not dressed properly outdoors.

Wednesday morning is starting out in the low to mid 30s with patchy dense fog. A Dense Fog Advisory remains in effect until 8 a.m. for Falls, Limestone, Milam, and Robertson County. Make sure to take it slow during the commute. Some frost is also possible on those windshields. Fog will lift throughout the morning hours and temperatures will climb into the low 50s with partly to mostly cloudy skies this afternoon. This is the warmest we will be until after Christmas. The Arctic cold front is still expected to arrive in Central Texas mid Thursday morning.

Weather conditions will quickly change behind the front. Temperatures Thursday morning start out in the 40s and just 2 hours after the front passes through, temperatures drop below freezing. By 5 PM everyone in Central Texas will be below freezing. Exceptionally strong north winds are expected Thursday after the front passes through, potentially gusting between 30 and 50 MPH. Gusty winds and the cold combine together to drop afternoon wind chills Thursday into the teens, which is why we have a Wind Chill Watch in place Thursday 6am - Friday 12pm.

Temperatures will not warm above freezing all day Friday. The morning starts out between 10° to 16°and only warms into the mid to upper 20s for the afternoon. We should finally see our temperatures warm above freezing around the mid 30s, only for a few hours, Saturday afternoon. Temperatures will fall right back below freezing during the evening Christmas Eve falling into the teens and low 20s for Santa’s arrival. Christmas Day will bring us a nice gift - a warming trend! It’s not going to be “warm” by any means but we will get above freezing - into the mid 40s!

Thankfully we will NOT see any wintry precipitation with this cold blast. If you have any holiday travel plans in the future, you’ll mainly only deal with the extreme cold across the Lone Star State, but if you’re traveling elsewhere across the nation, make sure you stay up to date with the forecast for that area. This winter storm is bringing dangerously cold temperatures over a large portion of the U.S. and the cold weather comes with blizzard like conditions. Plan for major travel delays if you’re traveling north, northwest and northeast.

For a full breakdown on this cold blast - be sure to read this article that focuses solely on the cold.

The good news - There is light at the end of this very cold tunnel. We’ll have two more near or sub-freezing mornings on Monday and Tuesday. Warmer afternoon temperatures will slowly return as well. Still chilly in the mid 50s Monday and Tuesday. A more significant warm up arrives by mid-to-end of the week with highs back into the 60s Wednesday and 70s as we head into the final days of 2022. We may also see some rain return into the final days of the year.

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