Temperatures plummet across Houston area as arctic winter freeze arrives
HOUSTON - Temperatures across the Houston area dropped quickly Thursday afternoon. After reaching roughly 60 degrees, temperatures fell into the twenties by Thursday evening.
"This is cold and with the wind chill factors, it’s very, very cold," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
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The National Weather Service has issued Hard Freeze and Wind Chill Warnings for much of Texas. In Houston, temperatures are expected to dip into the teens Friday morning. However, with the wind, it could feel like two degrees or even colder.
"I just came out of Home Depot," said a man named John. "I walked in there and I came out shivering. It wasn’t like that when I went in there."
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For many, it seemed like the temperatures fell instantly Thursday afternoon. Felipe Bustos had planned a picnic at Buffalo Bayou to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately, he had to cancel his plans shortly after setting up.
"We were talking about how we were so lucky that it was sunny," said Bustos. "As soon as we got down here, it was all cloudy and cold. I’m not having a good time man. It got really cold."
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Five warming centers are set up across the city for people in need to shelter from the freezing temperatures. The city is prepared to have warm up roughly 2,000 people.
"It’s extreme temperatures that we are experiencing," said Naomi Macias from the Houston Health Department. "We want to prevent any deaths that could occur."
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Wind gusts reached almost 50 miles per hour in Sugar Land and in the Pearland area Thursday evening. The freezing temperatures are expected to linger through Saturday.
"Check on the seniors," said Turner. "Especially check on the seniors and others who are using space heaters. Check on them. We don’t want any unnecessary fires."