Instead of the sunny, warm weather Austin is used to, next week the city is going to hit an ice age of sorts—at least by comparison. With the forecast predicting freezing temperatures, many Texans are unfamiliar with protective practices for their property in the winter weather.
From Saturday through Thursday, Austin, alongside every other state in the U.S. is expected to experience chilly, below-freezing temps.
Here's what to do when the thermometer drops.
Before freezing temperatures
Pipes are prone to expansion and breakage during freezing weather so before it gets too cold, wrap all exposed pipes outdoors. Make sure to bring in your garden hose or disconnect it from the faucet and if you have vents on the foundation of your home, cover those as well. If available, locate your property owner's cut-off valve and familiarize yourself with it.
During freezing or sub-freezing temperatures
During times when temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or lower for more than four hours, keep outside faucets dripping slowly. In prolonged freezing weather, it may be necessary to let inside faucets drip slowly as well. Be sure to turn off faucets when temperatures rise above 28 degrees.
If you have any sinks that are attached to outside walls, leave cabinet doors ajar and wrap the pipes. If your garage is not heated, consider cutting off water to washing machines.
Change the direction of your ceiling fan to clockwise—it will circulate warm air—but keep your thermostat relatively low. Keeping your thermostat between 65-70 degrees will keep your pipes warm enough not to freeze and save energy.
When you go outside
Layers are your best friend in cold weather, if they are done correctly. Make sure your base layer is a wicking fabric like cotton, merino wool or polyester. The middle layer will retain heat and keep you insulated, so opt for something like fleece or down, though the rule of thumb is that it should be thicker than your base layer. Finally, your outer shell can range from a windbreaker to a ski coat, but it should keep you safe from wind.
Most importantly, make sure your head, hands and feet are covered, as they lose heat the fastest.
To protect your plants
Bring all your potted plants inside, if possible. For outside plants, add a thick layer of mulch to the top to keep the roots insulated. Cover small plants with a cloche—or a dome-shaped object—to keep plants warm. For beds, use a tarp to cover the entire area.
To protect your pets
Once the weather gets below freezing temperatures, keep your pets inside for the majority of the time. If you have a short-haired dog, give it a cute sweater to wear while you walk them and be sure to clean their paws when you come inside, as they may have picked up salt or ice-melting chemicals that can irritate their skin.
More on the weather:
- Winter storm warning in effect for Central Texas - austonia ›
- Austin opens cold weather shelters amid freezing rain - austonia ›
- 10,000 without power in Austin as temperatures drop - austonia ›
- Abbott issues disaster declaration preparing for severe weather - austonia ›
- Winter Storm Warning: vaccine appointments canceled, power outages and shelters open - austonia ›
- Winter freeze leads to worsening road conditions, slowing EMS response times - austonia ›
- Breaking: H-E-B closes all Central Texas stores due to storm - austonia ›
- Austin faces another winter storm warning - austonia ›
- Why downtown Austin lights are on amid mass power outages - austonia ›
- Fir Department receives hundreds of reports of broken pipes - austonia ›
- 3 reasons Texas and Austin don't have enough power - austonia ›
- Road conditions worsen as freezing rain makes for icy roads - austonia ›
- Last wintry mix of the storm expected today - austonia ›
- Austin residents help one another during winter storm - austonia ›
- Weekend weather: Sunny skies are here to stay - austonia ›
- Austin's remote workforce faces winter storm repairs, outages - austonia ›
- Texans report thermostat manipulation from energy companies - austonia ›
- Worries over winter preparedness linger amid first freeze delay - austonia ›
- Austin record heat followed by cold front this weekend - austonia ›
- This was Texas’ warmest December since 1889 - austonia ›
- Officials say 2022 will be one of the hottest on record - austonia ›
- Winter weather worries Austin residents ahead of February freeze - austonia ›
- Warm weather to be hit with freezing weather in late February 2022 - austonia ›
- Weather outlook suggests a hot and dry Central Texas spring - austonia ›
Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway