Texas Winter Storm: What Austin area can expect

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for this region.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning and Winter Watch Advisory for Austin and the surrounding area based on forecasted cold temperatures and possible freezing precipitation.

A major winter storm with heavy snow and disruptive ice will impact more than 100 million people across a nearly 3,000-mile swath stretching from Texas and the Plains to the Midwest and Northeast through Friday.

A very strong arctic cold front will move through Central Texas by Thursday morning and continue possibly into the afternoon, according to the NWS Austin / San Antonio. Forecasters believe a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will occur across portions of South Central Texas during this time frame.

There is also a chance that freezing rain and sleet amounts could cause travel impacts through the Hill Country and into the Austin metro area by Thursday morning and continue through the day. Travel could be very difficult on untreated roads, especially elevated bridges, overpasses, and roadways, according to the National Weather Service.  

Up to ¼ of an inch of ice is currently forecast.

There is a low possibility for light icing impacts to occur farther south to a Del Rio to southern San Antonio to Gonzales line. There is also a low possibility for a brief changeover to light snow across Val Verde, Edwards and the northern Hill Country counties before precipitation ends.

All residents are being encouraged to review their plans and ensure they have some supplies on hand in case travel is not possible during the storm. To get started with an emergency kit, click here.

"We can see the storm clouds on the horizon, and we need everyone to ensure they are prepared," said Juan Ortiz Director of the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "The City of Austin and Travis County are preparing, but we need your help to prepare as well. Your preparations make us a more resilient community."

It is important that the public remember the 4 Ps of cold weather.

  1. Check on vulnerable people
  2. Bring pets inside
  3. Cover plants
  4. Insulate outdoor pipes and faucets

Additionally, if you will be out in the cold weather later this week take precautions.

  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Try to stay dry and out of the wind.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Cover your hands with mittens or gloves that are snug at the wrist

For regular updates from the City of Austin, you can visit AustinTexas.gov/Alerts for information in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Burmese, Urdu, Arabic, French, Hindi, and Pashto. You can also text ATXWEATHER to 888-777 for updates in English or ATXCLIMA to 888-777 for updates in Spanish.

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