Temperatures steadily plummeted Sunday night into Monday, prompting the city of Killeen to open a warming shelter Sunday afternoon.
Temperatures fell below freezing Sunday just before midnight, according to the National Weather Service, and continued to steadily drop into the teens Monday morning. Wind chills at Robert Gray International Airport were from 2 to 6 degrees Monday morning.
Steve Fano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Killeen temperatures fell to around 17 degrees Sunday night. By Monday afternoon, temperatures rose into the 20s and low 30s, and will rise throughout today, topping out at a forecasted 48 degrees. The low tonight will be around 36 with 20 percent chance of rain.
While temperatures linger below freezing, a lack of precipitation makes for a less than 2 percent chance of ice accumulating. “The good thing is temperatures are going to continue to warm through the week,” he said.
The high for Wednesday is expected to be in the mid-50s with rain chances increasing to 30 percent.
The warming shelter at Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., will remain open until noon today, said Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman.
Sixteen people stayed overnight at the shelter Sunday and 11 remained there throughout Monday. In early December when an arctic blast hovered over the area with freezing temperatures lingering for several days, 18 people stayed at the shelter, Shine said.
The frigid temperatures prompted the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, operator of the electric transmission grid for most of the state, to issue a “power watch” early Monday morning asking residents to take conservation methods to prevent rolling blackouts.
ERCOT recalled its energy emergency alert around 10 a.m., stating that grid conditions had returned to normal. ERCOT officials said as cold weather conditions continue, causing a high demand for electricity, residents still need to implement conservation measures.
“Cold weather will continue through (this) morning, and we will continue to monitor conditions closely,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT system operations director, in a news release. “Consumers are encouraged to use electricity wisely, and a conservation alert remains in effect throughout the ERCOT region.”
Although extensive records for the Killeen-Temple area aren’t available, Fano said it was “very safe to say” the 18-degree temperatures Monday morning were record-breaking.
“Waco set a record with a temperature of 16 degrees breaking an old record of 20 degrees set in 1910,” he said. “Getting down to 18 degrees ... I would almost guarantee at least for the date that it’s a record low.”
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555