An extremely cold start to this Monday, as we’re at 18 degrees at 6 a.m., with a wind chill of 8 degrees this morning, after the coldest Artic air of the season so far blew into our area Sunday behind gusty north winds, rapidly dropping temperatures from a high of 59 at 8 o’clock, to 41 within an hour, according to official weather observer Jim Forbes. The National Weather Service has the deep east Texas and western Louisiana area under a hard free warning until 9 this morning, as well as a Wind Chill Advisory till 9 a.m.A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS...MAKE SURE ALL EXPOSED SKIN IS COVERED.
Highs today are forecast to reach only about freezing, even with sun, before we fall back into the deep freeze tonight with lows expected in the mid teens. We’re expecting a warm-up by Wednesday.
The cold temps this morning are well short of the records for January. Jim Forbes told me Sunday afternoon the record low temperature for January in Center was 5 degrees on both Jan. 19, 1940; and Jan. 12, 1982. Jim said you may remember it was during this extended cold period in ’82 it stayed well below freezing for several days allowing Toledo Bend Reservoir to ice over enough to be walked on, if you dared.
No weather delays this morning as all roadways and bridges are reported to be in good shape with no ice. The gusty north winds and sunshine Sunday dried up the rain received prior to, during and well after the passage of the Artic front.
It’s back to school today for local students, teachers and support staff after the two-week Christmas Break. Be on the look-out for children entering and existing school buses, automobiles, walking or biking.