First Cold Snap of Season Headed to Central Texas
January 12, 2024
A strong cold front is headed for Central Texas early next week with the first significant drop in temperatures this winter expected. The National Weather Service predicts overnight low temperatures to dip Sunday night with a chance of Monday’s high temperature not reaching above freezing. This cold snap is anticipated to last through Tuesday with low temperatures in the teens.
Community members should take immediate steps to protect people, pets, pipes, and plants from the cold weather coming this weekend.
“Frigid weather is coming and the time to prepare is now,” said Ken Snipes, Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) Director. “There is no longer a question of if we have extreme weather in Central Texas, but when, and being ready to withstand multiple days of severe weather should become part of our regular winter preparations.”
Prepare for Winter Now
The four steps of emergency preparedness are: make a plan, build a kit, know your neighbors, and stay informed. Now it is time to enact the four steps of emergency preparedness as the first major cold front of the season rolls through. The City provided Austinites with winter weather preparedness tips in December and provided City Council with an update on winter weather preparations for the upcoming season.
Central Texas residents can learn more about emergency preparedness and how to ready their homes for cold weather at ReadyCentralTexas.org. The site includes helpful tips to keep family and homes safe.
HSEM’s Neighborhood Preparedness Guide is another helpful tool to use to get ready for this weekend’s cold weather. The guide has more details on all four steps of emergency preparedness, including tips specific to each type of weather emergency experienced by Central Texas.
When the cold hits, facilities for Austin Public Library and the Parks and Recreation Department are available as Warming Centers during regular business hours. These facilities can be visited as a temporary reprieve from the cold for anyone who needs a place to warm up during the day. This Warming Centers Map can be used to locate and get directions to any of these facilities with just a few clicks.
Most City facilities are closed on Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. However, on Sunday and Monday, Austin Public Library (APL) will open three facilities as Warming Centers from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those locations are:
Little Walnut Creek Branch
835 W. Rundberg Ln.
1600 Grove Blvd.
1105 E. César Chávez St.
APL also plans to open its Central Library Special Events Center, located at 710 W. César Chávez St., as a Warming Center early on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Normal business hours will resume at 9 a.m. Regular library services (material check-outs, computers, etc.) are not available outside of normal operating hours.
Cold Weather Shelters
Cold Weather Shelters will be activated for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. These facilities are meant for overnight sheltering from the cold, primarily for people experiencing homelessness. Embarkation and registration information will be posted online at austintexas.gov/alerts. Individuals can also get information about access and activation by calling the Cold Weather Shelter Hotline at 512-972-5055.
Shelters for Families with Children
The City will open overnight shelter for families with children if there is a need as a result of weather impacts. Emergency sheltering updates and more information will be available at austintexas.gov/alerts in 14 languages.