WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Cold weather is upon us in Texoma, with temperatures in the teens, wind chills below freezing, and a dusting of snow across the area in the early hours of Thursday morning, December 22, 2022.
In other words, winter is here, and it has arrived with a vengeance.
But it’s one thing to see a temperature, and it’s another to step outside and feel it. So, how is Texoma dealing with these temperatures?
Our KDFX Digital Reporter Josh Hoggard spoke with several residents of Wichita Falls that were out and about in the frigid temperatures Thursday to see how they’re coping with the cold.
“I’m freezing,” Margaux Clark said. “It’s miserable.”
“In my head, I’m on a beach somewhere, but then I walk out of my apartment and the wind hits my face and I want to run back in,” Rachael Polk said. “It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the wind, you know?”
Heavy winds are causing temperatures in the teens to feel well below freezing. It’s not a new phenomenon in Texoma, but it always seems to come as a surprise.
But, even though Texomans were expecting cold weather, they weren’t quite ready for the wind chills, and they definitely were not expecting any snowfall.
“Man I just woke up this morning surprised as everybody else man. I expected it to be cold, but not white,” Zachary Wisdom said. “Completely unprepared. Like, one cigarette in the pack, unprepared.”
“I had to run up here to Target to get some gloves because I was not prepared for this at all,” Polk said.
“It felt like I should go back in and lay back down. Honestly, there’s no need to be out here in the cold,” Carson Mason said. “I was not expecting it to get under 20, honestly.”
“No, I wasn’t prepared at all,” Wisdom said. “I have to spend the whole day grocery shopping now because I’ve got relatives coming in and we don’t have any food or anything ready for them.”
The cold might impact how much Texomans are outdoors, but many aren’t letting it impact their holiday plans.
“Oh, absolutely not at all. I already planned on pretty much staying inside anyway,” Polk said.
However, many who planned on spending time outdoors with their loved ones are having second thoughts.
“Probably so with my family and friends,” Mason said. “I hope not too much. I’m trying to sit by the fire.”
Several people have relocated to Wichita Falls from cities in the Midwest, so the cold isn’t anything new to them. But, it’s not exactly what they expected when they moved to Texas.
“I moved here from the Midwest a few years ago and I don’t think I’ve acclimated to the cold quite yet down here,” Polk said. “I thought I could handle it, but I cannot.”
“I’m from Chicago, man, so I’ll be alright,” Wisdom said. “But, yeah, this is the first time I’ve seen it since I’ve been in Texas.”
“I’m used to the cold, or I think I’m used to the cold,” Polk said. “I don’t mind getting out in it, but I’m not staying out in it very long.”
But since many knew the cold was coming, they weren’t blindsided. So while their faces weren’t ready for the wind chills, they’re taking steps to stay warm and keep their homes safe.
“Just letting the water slowly leak so the pipes don’t burst,” Clark said. “Just lots of blankets and staying inside, really.”
Polk is using some of the tricks she learned growing up in the Midwest. She’s no stranger to living through cold winter weather.
“I definitely have water running through my pipes so that they don’t freeze up and I’m keeping it at a pretty warm temperature,” Polk said. “I’m going to use my fireplace to try and conserve energy a little bit, but I’m just gonna hunker down and take all the precautions necessary.”
Clark has a tip for anyone who plans to head outside in the frigid weather.
“Just layering up,” Clark said. “I’m wearing probably like eight layers right now.”
But Polk said she’d rather just avoid going outside altogether.
“Pretty much stay inside and turn on my fireplace and get as many blankets as possible and cuddle up,” Polk said. “If I had someone with a hot tub, that would be fantastic, so I’m taking applications for that right now.”