AUSTIN (KXAN) — A series of cold fronts will march toward Central Texas this week, each one bringing progressively colder air.

Eventually, that colder air will mean temperatures will drop into the 30s by the end of this week with signs of colder-than-average temperatures in the week leading up to Christmas Day as well.

These won’t be our first cold nights in the 30s of our 2022-2023 cold season (late fall and winter). We had our first “taste” of cold the morning of Nov. 11 when Austin’s Camp Mabry hit the 30s for the first time since mid-March.

The coldest morning so far was Nov. 12 when we got down to 29º at Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport and 35º at Camp Mabry. Freezing or below freezing temperatures were felt across much of Central Texas on that morning of Nov. 12.

Average First Freeze (NWS Austin/San Antonio)
Average First Freeze (NWS Austin/San Antonio)

For the Hill Country, the mid-November first freeze this year was on time or just a few days early. For the majority of the Austin metro and our eastern counties, we’re now running late on the first widespread freeze which should have happened by Dec. 2.

When a widespread freeze happens, the National Weather Service will stop issuing “Freeze Warnings” for the counties affected as is their policy.

Here’s a map from the National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio of the counties where freeze warnings have been discontinued for the remainder of winter.

Freeze Warnings Discontinued (Growing Season Over). Courtesy: NWS Austin/San Antonio
Freeze Warnings Discontinued (Growing Season Over). Courtesy: NWS Austin/San Antonio

Travis, Hays and our eastern counties have yet to see a widespread freeze and will continue to get Freeze Warnings until a widespread freeze occurs.

Exceptions to the rule

Areas south of the NWS Austin/San Antonio forecast area and closer to the coast will continue to get freeze warnings, even after a widespread freeze, due to the higher importance of crops in those agricultural areas.

If Central Texas were to see temperatures drop significantly below freezing (like February 2021) a “Hard Freeze Warning” would be issued.

In Depth: First freeze last winter?

Last cold season (2021-2022) had the fourth latest first freeze on record at Austin’s Camp Mabry. The latest first freeze for the cold season in Austin was on Jan. 15, 1989.