Austin-area residents can expect the coldest temperatures of the winter season to hit early next week, meteorologists from the National Weather Service said.

What you need to know

Local meteorologists are expecting an arctic cold front with temperatures below freezing in the Austin area between Jan 14-18.

Experts are not expecting any wintry precipitation to accompany the cold front, which contributed to downed power lines and outages during winter storms Uri and Mara. However, meteorologist Keith White said the chances of rain or snow could increase as the cold front nears.

Quotes of note

“People in Austin will not be happy, I’ll put it that way,” meteorologist Bob Fogarty said.

“We have extra crews on standby to restore power as quickly and safely as possible in the event of outages," said Matt Mitchell, Austin Energy public information officer. “Thankfully, while we anticipate the coldest temperatures of the season so far next week, it appears there will be minimal winter precipitation in our area, which is good news for our power lines and our urban tree canopy.”

The details

To prepare for the cold, residents should stay up to date on the forecast and make a plan to protect the four P's: pipes, pets, plants and people. The Austin transportation department recommended double-checking tire or bike wheels before going for a ride, as air pressure loss happens faster in colder weather. The department also recommended these steps to defog car windshields:
  • Turn heat on highest setting.
  • Turn on the air conditioning.
  • Turn air recirculation off.
  • Roll window down for a few minutes.
Anyone in need of a place to stay amid low temperatures can call 512-305-4233 to confirm the status of Austin's cold weather shelters.