The cold front expected to reach Texas late Jan. 13 will be “one of the coldest episodes [people] will have lived through in the state of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Below-freezing temperatures will likely occur through Jan. 17 with a chance of precipitation in Central and East Texas.

Conditions are expected to be less severe than Winter Storm Uri, the dayslong winter storm that killed hundreds of Texans in February 2021.

What you need to know

“We feel very good about the status of the Texas power grid,” Abbott told reporters at a Jan. 12 news conference. “[The Electric Reliability Council of Texas will] be able to effectively and successfully ensure that the power is going to stay on throughout the entirety of this winter storm episode.”

Some people may experience local power outages due to high winds and ice on power lines or tree limbs. Texans can contact their local utility providers or visit for information about outages and other resources.

“The grid is better prepared than it has ever been before, in particular as it relates to cold weather events like this,” ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas said.

Since February 2021, power plants have been winterized, and ERCOT officials have inspected nearly 1,800 facilities, Vegas said.

ERCOT, which operates the state power grid, is not asking Texans to conserve power. The agency issued a “weather watch” to alert residents of the severely cold weather and subsequent high demand on the grid.

Abbott said Jan. 16-17 will be “the tightest times” for the power grid, as there will likely be less wind those days. However, officials do not anticipate any emergency conditions.

Texans can find more information on the agency’s website and sign up for alerts about the grid at

Staying warm

Temperatures will be below freezing for 80-90 hours straight in portions of North Texas, according to Nim Kidd, the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Over 150 cold weather shelters were open statewide as of Jan. 12, Kidd said. Texans can find information about warming centers in their area at

Visit the links below for Community Impact reporting about cold weather shelters and how local leaders are preparing for the freeze:Kidd encouraged Texans to begin preparing their homes and businesses for the arctic blast on Dec. 12. Experts recommend focusing on the 4 Ps: people, pets, pipes and plants.

“Carbon monoxide poisonings always happen during these types of cold weather events. ... These are preventable injuries and deaths,” Kidd said.

Vehicles, stoves, grills, fireplaces and many appliances generate carbon monoxide, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. The invisible, tasteless gas can be deadly if too much is inhaled.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Texans should:
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke alarms
  • Never run generators indoors
  • Never use a stove as a heat source
  • Never use portable grills or stoves indoors
  • Never leave a car or truck running in a garage
“There's no reason for people to stay cold in their home with all of the warming centers that we have across the state,” Kidd said.What they’re saying

Although limited precipitation is expected, officials encouraged Texans to stay off the roads if possible and use caution when driving.

“If you're driving on icy roads, sometimes it's difficult to really see with your own eyes that there's ice on the road until you hit your brakes and you lose control of the vehicle,” Abbott said. “I cannot overemphasize if you do not need to be driving, don’t do so.”

Texas Department of Transportation crews across the state are pretreating roads with a focus on bridges and other elevated structures.

Real-time road closure information is available at