Key Messages:

  • Severe cold Arctic outbreak expected for Christmas. Arctic front arrives early Thursday.
  • Very cold temperatures with lows in the single digits both Friday and Saturday mornings.
  • Wind chill values will be below zero Thursday night into Friday morning.
  • Very strong winds expected on Thursday behind the front.
  • No snow or ice is expected outside of a few flurries.
  • Temperatures to stay below freezing for 72 hours (from Thursday to Christmas Day)
  • Pipes will burst if not properly wrapped and protected
  • This will be the coldest Christmas since 1989.

A major Arctic airmass that has been building in Canada seeded by air from Siberia will plunge southward into the lower 48 this week. The high pressure associated with this airmass is progged to be some 1060+ mb and may challenge high pressure records for the lower 48. This will undoubtedly bring a severe cold snap to much of Texas for the holiday. Residents, especially those planning on being out of town, should prepare their homes by wrapping their pipes. Temperatures at the coldest point could potentially reach the upper single digits at DFW. This is cold enough to cause infrastructure damage in this region and is considered severe cold. Freezes will likely reach all the way into Northern Mexico and into the Lower Rio Grande Valley with this.

The Arctic front is expected to arrive on very early Thursday with plunging temperatures behind it. Temps will likely be in the single digits across all of North Texas by Friday morning with wind chills below zero. This will not be a repeat of the cold air outbreaks of December 1983, December 1989, or most recently, February 2021. We simply will not get that cold, nor is the longevity of this cold air outbreak expected to be that long. However, this will be the coldest Christmas since 1989 for DFW. Freezing temperatures are expected for about 72 hours from Thursday to Christmas Day. We are not expecting any ice or snow with this cold outbreak at this time. Residents are urged to take proper precations to winterize their homes, including wrapping exposed outdoor pipes. Pipes will freeze and burst in this type of cold.