Central Texans are in for a cold start to the new year, as the high temperature today is only expected to reach 29 degrees. The temperature is in line with a cold New Year’s Eve, when temperatures reached an early high of 36 degrees and started dropping.

“The temperatures are going to continue to lower throughout the day, reaching a low of 20 tonight and lasting into Monday morning,” meteorologist Juan Hernandez with the National Weather Service in Dallas/Fort Worth said. “You are not going to see any snow chances Monday, with that mostly ending tonight.”

Hernandez said the skies are even expected to begin clearing up today, with the cloudy, overcast skies of the past several days finally starting to disperse.

“You may even see some rays of sunshine poking through the clouds,” he said.

The main hazard over the next few days is expected to be the freezing weather, and Hernandez wanted to remind people to “protect the four Ps: Pipes, pets, people and plants.”

Pets and plants should be brought indoors as the temperatures drop. One way to protect outdoor pipes is to let water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes, according to the American Red Cross.

Central Texas cities started reporting icy roadways about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, urging residents to avoid driving as much as possible. Freezing temperatures are expected to continue into Wednesday morning, and icy roads are a danger until the expected thaw Wednesday afternoon.

The city of Killeen announced Saturday afternoon that the Killeen Community Center would open as a warming center beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., will be open 24 hours a day to those seeking temporary relief from temperatures expected to dip into the 20s and will remain open while freezing temperatures persist.

This is the first time the city of Killeen will provide a warming center since discontinuing the practice in late 2015, when the Families in Crisis shelter opened.

The Texas Department of Transportation trucks were out in the Killeen area Friday pretreating bridges and overpasses with a salt/brine solution to prevent ice build-up. Crews are expected to be on standby as the weather develops and temperatures drop.

Killeen Daily Herald staff writer Julie A. Ferraro contributed to this report.

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