A crippling, historic winter storm moved across Texas Sunday night into Monday, bringing some of the heaviest snow totals in more than 70 years. Morning snow reports suggest totals were generally in the range of 4 to 7 inches across most of the Hill Country and Central Texas, with much lower amounts recorded across the coastal plains. The highest totals appear to have occurred over the area between San Angelo and Abilene, where totals of 10-15 inches were recorded. The National Weather Service in San Angelo reported a snow total of 10.1 inches while an official Abilene observer recorded 14.8 inches.
In Austin, both Camp Mabry and Austin-Bergstrom observed totals of 6.4 inches. It is interesting to note, in records dating back to 1942, the 6.4 inch event total recorded at Austin-Bergstrom is the most snow ever recorded at that location—besting the total of 5.5 inches set in 1949. For Camp Mabry, the 6.4 inch event total is the 4th greatest all-time total dating back to 1897 and the highest event total since Jan 30-31, 1949.
The winter storm responsible for Sunday’s snow and sleet has pushed east of our region. In it’s wake, a large dome of arctic high pressure covers all of Texas, producing bitterly cold temperatures. As of noon, the sky had cleared across the Hill Country and Central Texas while some low clouds were still hanging on across the coastal region. These clouds should clear late this afternoon into the evening. Today’s temperatures is forecast to reach the upper teens across the Hill Country and the low 20s across Central Texas and the coastal area.
The combination of a clear sky, light winds and an arctic air mass is expected to cause bitterly cold temperatures Monday night into Tuesday morning. At some locations, readings Tuesday morning may rival the coldest temperatures ever recorded.
- Lows Tuesday morning are predicted to be near zero to 4 degrees across the Hill Country, near 4 to 6 degrees across Central Texas and around 6 to 10 degrees across the coastal region.
Tuesday’s weather is shaping up to be most sunny, but still very cold. High temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 20s, and near 30-32 degrees towards the coast. Lows Wednesday morning will generally be near 18-22 degrees.
The Next Winter Storm
Yet another trough of low pressure is forecast to approach western Texas Tuesday night and track across the region on Wednesday. Clouds will increase and the sky will become cloudy by Tuesday evening. Light overrunning precipitation is predicted to develop by midnight Tuesday night, then increase in intensity throughout the day on Wednesday. The setup for this winter storm is predicted to be a little different from the one Sunday night as a layer of warm air in the middle atmosphere is predicted to develop. Much of the developing precipitation is forecast to melt when it falls through this warm layer. This will result in the development of widespread freezing rain, sleet and even some snow flurries across the entire region. Accumulations are somewhat uncertain due to the variety of precipitation types, but they are expected to be very significant. The storm total liquid equivalent is predicted to be around a quarter inch.
Temperatures are forecast to warm to the mid and upper 30s for a few hours Wednesday afternoon which may cause the precipitation to change over to liquid. However, readings are forecast fall back below freezing Wednesday night. Wednesday’s precipitation will add to the snow and sleet already on the ground from Monday, creating very hazardous travel conditions. All of the precipitation is forecast to end from west to east Wednesday evening as the trough exits our region.
A reinforcing shot of arctic air is predicted to sweep south through the area Wednesday night. Low temperatures Thursday morning are forecast to be near 15-20 degrees across the Hill Country, near 20-22 degrees across Central Texas and in the mid to upper 20s across the coastal plains.
Clouds look to clear Thursday morning. Sunny weather is forecast Thursday afternoon through Friday. It will still be quite cold Thursday and Thursday night but milder temperatures will begin returning Friday.
- High temperatures Friday will be in the low and mid-30s, with upper 30s expected towards the coast.
- Lows Friday morning are forecast to be near 15-20 degrees across the Hill Country, be near 18-20 degrees across Central Texas and in the low 20s across the coastal plains.
- High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the mid and upper 40s.
- Lows Saturday morning will be in the upper 20s to low 30s.
Mostly sunny and milder weather is expected this weekend, continuing into next week. High temperatures are predicted to be in the 50s Saturday and into the 60s Sunday and early next week. Lows will be mostly in the 40s.