After a strong cold front drove in a blast of Arctic air over the weekend, we are kicking off the new week on a down-right freezing note...literally! As cold air settles in, low temperatures could be record breaking across the area. While a Hard Freeze Warning was issued going into Monday morning, another one is highly likely to be issued again for Monday night / Tuesday morning as overnight lows fall into the teens!
As this Arctic air mass filters into the Brazos Valley, we are expecting it to be the coldest air to reach the area since February 2011. Here's a look back for reference:
February 2nd, 2011:
February 10th, 2011
Low: 20° (Record)
February 11th, 2011
Hard Freeze Warning
The National Weather Service has issued a HARD FREEZE WARNING for Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, and Washington counties from 9pm Monday night through 9am Tuesday morning. With temperatures expected to fall and stay below freezing for more than 14-17 hours.
What is the Difference Between a Freeze and a Hard Freeze?
A freeze is classified anytime the temperatures reaches 32° or colder. A freeze could last anywhere from a few short minutes to a significant stretch of hours.
A Hard Freeze is when temperatures are expected to be below freezing for an extended period of time and could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.
For Southeast Texas, a Hard Freeze Warning is issued when temperatures are expected to be 25° or below for two hours or more. (per the Houston / Galveston National Weather Service)
While it is important to take the necessary precautions for any freezing weather event, it will be imperative to protect outdoor pipes and faucets, plants, animals, and yourself as these cold temperatures settle in once again this evening.
Record Breaking Cold?
Clouds will be a key factor in just how cold temperatures can drop tonight, into Tuesday morning.
As of Monday morning, we officially tied the record morning low of 21 degrees for January 6th, last set back in 1970. As for Tuesday morning (January 7th), morning lows could come close to the record low set in 1912.
Regardless of Broken Records, Cold Temperatures and Even Colder Wind Chills Expected
Although morning lows on Tuesday are expected to be even colder than temperatures reached on Monday, winds won't be nearly as breezy as they were on Monday morning.
North winds will gradually start to shift back out of the Southeast overnight at 5-10 mph. That combined with an already cold air temperature will bring wind chill values back down near 10 degrees.
If you have to be outdoors for any period of time, be sure to bundle up and cover as much exposed skin as possible.
With classes starting back up for area students, be sure to have them dressed accordingly should they have to wait outdoors to catch the school bus.