A powerful arctic cold front is set to blast through the Plains and sweep across the South early next week, posing threats from record-breaking low temperatures, wintry precipitation and strains on infrastructure.
Temperatures across northern Texas and Oklahoma could plummet 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit below normal for mid-January by Monday behind the front’s leading edge gusting down from Canada.
Extended periods below freezing will stress power grids struggling to meet spiking heating demand. Subzero wind chills ringing in well below zero threaten hypothermia and frostbite dangers after just minutes outside.
Agricultural operations across South Texas face crop damage risks amid the unusually bone-chilling cold for the region lasting multiple days.
Any wintry precipitation falling atop the cold air mass will further snarl travel, shutter schools and businesses unaccustomed to and ill-equipped for such conditions.
A brewing winter storm tracking from the Southwest this weekend will ride the invasion of cold and moisture surging northward out of the Gulf of Mexico.
This could spawn a corridor of snow and ice from central Texas and Oklahoma through Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi by early next week.
Slippery snow and ice accumulations from 1 to 2 inches would paralyze areas where winter weather prep and response resources are minimal.
Any icy glaze will also prolong hazardous travel conditions for days given the cold air’s stubbornness to retreat through at least midweek.