FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — Well, it looks like 2018 will usher in sunny skies and highs in the low 80s — if you’re in Honolulu.
In the Highland Lakes, expect a very cold Jan. 1 with temperatures barely (if at all) breaking out of the 20s and reaching the low 30s. The Arctic blast crashing down from the north will send temperatures lower then first forecast earlier in the week. It will get cold with a capital “C” by the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 31.
The good news is we should enjoy a fairly moderate Saturday as temperatures reach 60 degrees with mostly sunny skies. Enjoy it while you can.
Temperatures should peak at about 2 p.m. Saturday before they start dropping, and it’s going to be a rather significant fall by New Year’s Day on Monday.
The cold front will start moving in Saturday afternoon and push temperatures down to the 40s overnight into Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, expect a slight chance of light rain, maybe 20 percent.
The brunt of the Arctic blast should hit at about 3 p.m. Sunday as wind speeds reach the mid-teens with gusts from 20-23 mph. Temperatures will slip into the 30s, eventually plummeting to the lower 20s in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Overnight into Monday, it’s possible the Highland Lakes could experience light, freezing rain, so be cautious if you’re traveling.
The high winds Sunday afternoon into Monday will also drop the wind chill into the teens. If you’re going out New Year’s Day, dress appropriately as the National Weather Service expects a high in the upper 20s, possibly the lower 30s. The wind chill factor will make it feel as if it’s in the teens.
If you’re planning to take part in a First Day Hike at one of the area’s state parks, dress for the elements. Also, check the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website tpwd.texas.gov or the parks’ social media for weather updates.
New Year’s Day should be partly sunny. However, the area could experience one of its hardest freezes Monday night into Tuesday with temperatures dropping as low as 20 degrees. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service expects temperatures in the Highland Lakes to climb into the lower to mid-30s with partly sunny skies.
If the cold temperatures have you feeling a little glum, it’s good to keep it in perspective. While we’re dealing with temperatures in the 20s and 30s on New Year’s Day, the folks in Duluth, Minnesota, will be lucky if their first day of 2018 even gets above zero.
Also, this weekend and early next week are good times to remember pipes, pets, and people. Wrap exposed pipes, bring your pets indoors, and check on neighbors, friends, and family members who might be even more adversely affected by the weather.
If you are on the road, stash some warm clothes and blankets in your vehicle, just in case.