BURNET — While the warm temperatures that settled in the Highland Lakes at the start of the weekend are pleasant, you better get the heavy coats back out by Sunday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, a strong Arctic front rolls across Central Texas starting overnight Saturday, Dec. 17. And when people get out of bed on Sunday, they’ll find temperatures barely above freezing — the entire day.
The NWS anticipates the Saturday night low to dip to about 22 degrees, a solid freeze. On Sunday, temperatures will climb to about 34 degrees before dropping well below the freezing mark that night — as low as 20 degrees, according to the NWS.
Bob Rose, the Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist, said the strong front should cross into the Hill Country in the late afternoon Saturday. He warned that the 60s and even 70s on Saturday afternoon will quickly fall into the 30s and 40s.
Rose said in his LCRA weather blog that the front shouldn’t trigger any rain or storms in the Hill Country or across the Highland Lakes. But the front will bring with it some strong winds.
By Monday, the temperatures won’t warm up much but could possibly get into the upper 30s and even the 40s. Again, Highland Lakes and Hill Country residents can expect a hard freeze overnight into Tuesday, when things will likely start out in the 20s across the area.
But the mercury should push into the mid- to upper 40s for a high on Tuesday.
All this means, of course, to prepare for the cold snap.
People should make sure their pipes are protected by covering outdoor spigots and protecting exposed pipes. Also, bring pets inside during the cold weather or find a way to protect them from the low temperatures.
If people know anyone, especially elderly residents, without good heating or if they have health issues, then it’s a good idea to regularly check on them. Make sure they have adequate heat, blankets, and food.
Though it’s sometimes tempting to use stoves or cooking appliances for heat, officials caution that this can be very dangerous and potentially lead to fires.
Also, make sure space heaters are operating properly and don’t place them near combustible materials.
When using open flames such as fireplaces or candles, make sure they are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended. And put them out before going to bed. Check ventilation for open fires so fumes and smoke have a way to escape and won’t get trapped in the home.
Go to forecast.weather.gov or lcra.org for more weather information.