San Antonians may want to dig out their winter coats and hats as two separate cold fronts are expected to roll through the area beginning late Thursday, Jan. 11, into the morning of Jan. 12 and again early Jan. 14.

Current situation

National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Gale said conditions show a favorable pattern for cold weather now that originated as bottled up cold air north of Canada and into the Arctic that has now made its way south.

Gale said the first cold front will bring with it high winds similar to what the region experienced at the beginning of the week with sustained winds of 30 mph gusting up to 50 to 55 mph.

A second cold front will hit the area early Sunday, this one bringing in “widespread” freezing temperatures and even colder wind chills, Gale said.

The specifics

The low on Sunday, Jan. 14, is expected to be 33 with a high in the mid-30s around 36, Gale said. The temperature will dip lower Jan. 15 with a low of 23 predicted and a high of 35. The cold weather will continue Jan. 16 with a low of 18 expected and a high of 36.

Gale said San Antonio could see close to zero degrees Jan. 16 but “that’s a little bit up in the air depending on when the cold front blows through.”

The low Jan. 17 is predicted to be close to 20 degrees with a high of 49, Gale said. At this time, no snow is in the forecast.

“Precipitations have been trending upwards in the area but mostly in the northern Hill Country and up into Austin, maybe east of I-35,” Gale said. “For San Antonio, we’re still predicting dry weather.”

Going forward

Area residents should keep in mind that most city offices including CPS Energy are closed Jan. 15 to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, residents can report any emergencies by calling 210-353-HELP (4357) or 1-800-870-1006 anytime.

San Antonio’s Office of Emergency Management has a winter preparedness guide available online and encourages residents to plan ahead for storms and extreme cold.

Tips include adding items to home emergency kits, such as:
  • Rock salt or to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
  • Sufficient heating fuel, such as dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove
  • Warm clothing and blankets
Additional tips include:
  • Create a family communications plan.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news for updates or alerts from the National Weather Service.
  • Minimize travel, but if it’s necessary, store a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets and companion animals inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with access to water.
  • Know where your electrical breaker box is located in the house.
  • Locate gas and water shutoff valves.
  • Fully charge electronic devices and extra chargers. Keep a car charger for your cellphone.
  • Cover pipes and faucets outside.
Officials with the city, Bexar County and partners, including CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System, encourage residents to remember the four P's when it comes to preparations: people, pets, plants and pipes.

In a news release, officials recommended that people dress in layers and also check on family and friends who might be more vulnerable to the cold.

San Antonio Fire Department officials also recommended in the release:
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Never use a generator indoors.
  • Always plug portable heaters directly into a wall socket (no power strips).
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
Also, noted in the release, 14 warming centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 15. They are:
  1. Central Library, 600 Soledad St., San Antonio
  2. Schaefer Library, 6322 Hwy. 87 E., San Antonio
  3. Mission Library, 3134 Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio
  4. Cortez Library, 2803 Hunter Blvd., San Antonio
  5. Bazan Library, 2200 W. Commerce St., San Antonio
  6. Guerra Library, 7978 W. Military Drive, San Antonio
  7. Maverick Library, 8700 Mystic Park, San Antonio
  8. Igo Library, 13330 Kyle Seale Parkway, San Antonio
  9. Encino Library, 2515 E. Evans Road, San Antonio
  10. Thousand Oaks Library, 4618 Thousand Oaks, San Antonio
  11. Tobin Community Center, 1900 W. Martin St., San Antonio
  12. Harlandale Community Center, 7227 Briar Place, San Antonio
  13. Cuellar Community Center, 5626 San Fernando St., San Antonio
  14. Hamilton Community Center, 10700 Nacogdoches Road, San Antonio
Residents may use VIA Metropolitan Transit to travel fare-free to or from these locations. Passengers need to alert the bus operator when boarding or alert the reservation agent when booking a VIAtrans trip, according to the news release.

Overnight Resiliency Centers

The city will also open and operate six resilience hubs beginning at 9 p.m. Jan. 14 through 8 a.m. Jan. 17 where residents can get information and resources including basic supplies, shelter from the severe cold, access to power and device charging and free Wi-Fi. Anyone using one of these locations should bring clothes, supplies and medicine, the release states. Kennels will be available in a separate area of these locations for pets. The six locations are:
  1. Normoyle Senior Center, 700 Culberson Ave., San Antonio
  2. Northeast Senior Center, 4135 Thousand Oaks Drive, San Antonio
  3. Southside Lions Senior Center, 3303 Pecan Valley Drive, San Antonio
  4. Garza Community Center, 1450 Mira Vista, San Antonio
  5. Copernicus Community Center, 5003 Lord Road, San Antonio
  6. Miller’s Pond Community Center, 6175 Old Pearsall Road, San Antonio
Bexar County officials will operate five overnight warming centers beginning at 9 p.m. Jan. 14 through 8 a.m. Jan. 17. The locations are:
  1. Lighthouse Church Temple, 8201 Old Pearsall Road, San Antonio
  2. OuterWest Community Church, 12280 Alamo Ranch Parkway, San Antonio
  3. St. Padre Pio Catholic Church, 3843 Bulverde Parkway, San Antonio
  4. Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1129 Pat Booker Road, Universal City
  5. Elmendorf Community Library, 203 Bexar Ave., Elmendorf
Additionally, Hollywood Park officials said they would open their municipal complex, 2 Mecca Drive, as a public warming center if needed.