AUSTIN (KXAN)– One of the many things people talk about when discussing Texas is the heat. Just about everyone talks about how hot it gets in the spring and summer. Yes, it does get cold but very few ever discuss that.
For the second time in Austin weather history, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning. Not a watch, not an advisory, but a warning. Most of you remember the first one, because it was less than two years ago. During Valentines’ weekend 2021 this area was under a Wind Chill Warning.
Wind chill is what the temperatures feels like to the exposed skin due to the combination of cold temperatures and blowing winds. That is the combination that faces Central Texas in the 6 p.m. Thursday to noon Friday time frame. Not protecting yourself properly could lead to hypothermia.
The Arctic air arrives here Thursday morning into the afternoon. Most temperatures at noon Thursday will range from the 40s from Cameron, Marble Falls to the 50s and low 60s elsewhere. The exception will be the Hill Country, where the front will pass leaving temperatures there in the mid to upper 30s.
Single-digit wind chills are being forecast for several locations as early as 6 p.m. Thursday, where the air temperatures are expected to be in the 20 and 30s.
These numbers drop sharply overnight so that by 7 a.m. Friday a few locations will be experiencing subzero wind chills.
It’s not just Central Texas that has to deal with these dangerously low wind chills. The Panhandle and a large portion of the South Plains are looking at potential wind chills as low as 20 to 25° below, with some cities north of Amarillo to the Oklahoma border forecast to have wind chills from 30 to 35° below.
What should you do? If you must get outdoors for whatever reason, dress in layers. Cover as much of your body as you can, including your face. Scarves would do well. Let others know where you will be if you’re going to be traveling. Make sure your car has at least a half a tank of gasoline in it.
This extreme cold snap won’t last as long as February, 2021 when the area was in the deep freeze for six days. The wind speeds will subside by late Friday afternoon/Friday night, so the wind chills Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mornings won’t be like as cold.