Arctic Express Could Bring Freezing Rain Tonight


...Prolonged period of very cold/freezing weather (from Sunday through Wednesday morning)...

...Low chances of light freezing drizzle /sleet  (6 pm New Year's Eve  through 6 pm New Year's Day Monday)... 

...Check the forecast frequently for updates and changes...

Area of Concern:

Very cold weather will cover the entire region, with the coldest temperatures in the Hill Country. 

The primary area  of concern for frozen precipitation will be the Hill Country and Edwards  Plateau Sunday evening, extending this area to include San Antonio and  areas southwest to the Rio Grande River late Sunday night through New  Year's Day.  As of right now the Austin area and northern sections of  South Central Texas should remain fairly dry with little to no impacts  from frozen precipitation.  

Threats & Impacts:

Freezing rain/drizzle/sleet...  could accumulate primarily on elevated surfaces such as picnic tables,  bridges, overpasses, stairways. The primary threat time will be from 6  pm Sunday (New Year's Eve) through 6 pm Monday (New Year's Day).  Widespread travel problems are not expected at this time, but continue  to monitor our latest forecasts and updates.  Some closed bridges and  overpasses are not out of the question.

Prolonged Freezing Temperatures...Temperatures  are expected to be below freezing for as many as 60 hours in the Hill  Country...more than 24 hours in many other areas of South Central  Texas.  This prolonged  hard freeze will have significant impacts on  sensitive plants and pets. Elderly persons or young children could  suffer hypothermia if exposed to long duration of extremely cold  temperatures.   Exposed water pipes and sprinkler system standpipes  could break.  Take precautions now.  The coldest mornings will likely be  Tue and Wed mornings.

Wind Chill Temperatures...Wind  Chills will drop into the teens most areas on Monday, with some single  digit wind chills in the Hill Country as north winds of 15-25 mph  combine with these subfreezing temperatures.  The winds will start to weaken by Monday night and thus the wind chills will also warm slightly on Tue.

Expected Precipitation Accumulations:  Light freezing drizzle will be limited to Trace amounts on New Year's  Eve,  Freezing rain/sleet should be limited to a few hundredths at most  on New Year's Day.  

Timing and Overview:

Arctic air is headed our way and will arrive on Sunday. The timing of the event is pretty well set, with the primary threat for light freezing rain from 6 pm Sunday to 6 pm Monday.   While some light freezing rain/drizzle is possible, chances are low and  if it does occur, it should be very light and confined to areas mainly  southwest of a line from Kerrville to San Antonio to Karnes City.  The  Hill Country may see the freezing temperatures and light freezing  drizzle as early as late Sunday afternoon, with the threat pushing south  and southwest overnight into Monday.  A weak disturbance moving across  the southern half of the state may bring some reports of sleet as well  on Monday.  Accumulations should be minimal. The best messaging is to  springboard off the New Year's Day Holiday and urge people to stay  inside, warm, and off the roads.

The prolonged freezing temperatures may last  for a few days out in the Hill Country (60+ hours).  Morning low  temperatures may get below freezing every day next week through Friday  with teens expected Tue and Wed morning across the Hill Country and  north, low to mid 20s elsewhere.  Residents should be proactive with  their cold weather preparations and do them now.    Most areas should  warm above freezing on Wednesday.  Wind Chill readings will dip well into the Teens, with even lower readings in the Hill Country.


High confidence in the prolonged period of cold weather

Low confidence in where/when the frozen precipitation will fall

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