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Austin is about to see its coldest air of the winter season so far

A freeze warning sign posted by an apartment complex at the Domain in Austin in 2023. The sign says "Freeze Warning! Let faucets drip. Leave heat on."
Patricia Lim
/
KUT News
A freeze warning sign posted by an apartment complex at the Domain in Austin in 2023.

The National Weather Service forecasts wind chills in the single digits beginning Saturday night. Strong winds in the region arrived early Friday.

Low temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the 20s but will likely drop into the teens on Monday and Tuesday. The agency said the cold weather is due to Arctic air traveling to the South.

While temperatures do dip into the teens every year, NWS meteorologist Nick Hampshire said cold snaps like the one forecasted are not annual occurrences.

“This [weather] probably happens on average every several years, so definitely not something that we would call a normal occurrence,” Hampshire said.

Hampshire said Central Texans don’t need to worry about seeing anything like last year when below-freezing temperatures and ice left thousands of people without power.

The state’s power grid operator, ERCOT, is expected to be able to handle the incoming demand, experts said.

“We’re gonna have high demand but it does look like the rest of the system is going to be able to handle that,” said Joshua Rhodes, a research scientist at UT Austin who studies the grid. “I think that’s why they’re a bit more confident going into this storm.”

KUT's Mose Buchele contributed reporting to this story.

Haya Panjwani is a general assignment reporter, with a focus on Travis County. Got a tip? Email her at hpanjwani@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @hayapanjw.
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