Hard freeze expected for North Texas Tuesday night

Another hard freeze is expected Tuesday night with temperatures in the mid-20s from a cold front that has blanketed Texas. It will be the coldest temperatures of the season so far.

Thankfully, winds will decrease to 5 to 10 miles per hour. But the wind chills will be in the upper teens and 20s.

Despite the cold weather, hundreds of people went to the Dallas Arboretum Tuesday night for the annual tree-lighting ceremony.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are already in full swing at the arboretum. And with that, comes some winter-like weather. Temperatures dropped into the 30s during the celebration, but the arboretum did have a couple dozen heaters to help.

Even on the coldest night of the season, people did not want to miss the tree lighting.

“It kind of adds to the whole atmosphere when it is a little crisp like this,” said Jody Shafer, an arboretum member.

“It makes it for a better seasonal event with the cold weather,” said Shaun Schottmiller, an arboretum member.

Across town at Our Calling, a faith-based homeless outreach center, it’s evident it is the season of giving. A Plano moving company donated pallets of blankets. Dinner was served for the second night in a row at the typically daytime facility.

Executive Director and Pastor Wayne Walker says it is a moral obligation to open overnight for the homeless when the temperature dips below freezing.

“We’ve got more homeless people than can fit in the shelters,” Walker said. “And so we’ve been asking different churches to consider opening their gymnasium, their auditorium and maybe their lobby. Let some people sleep inside.”

Joseph Hall says if it were not for Our Calling, he’d be sleeping outside the Dallas library.

“Our Calling, they’re wonderful. I’m not going to lie about that,” he said.

Our Calling is one of several shelters asking for donations. They need sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries, food, coats and financial support.

All of the Dallas shelters are over capacity, so faith-based organizations are stepping up to help and need help in return.

For the rest of the week, the temperature will we slowly warm up back close to normal.

As the cold air retreats over the next few days, North Texas will see mild temperatures on Friday and Saturday as winds shift to the south.