Another cold blast in the forecast
The winter weather yo-yo continues this week as rain gives way to sunshine followed by a strong arctic front with bitter cold temperatures and the possibility of a wintry mix.
The National Weather Service predicts the arctic front will hit the Highland Lakes and Central Texas sometime overnight Wednesday, Feb. 2, into Thursday, bringing freezing rain, sleet, and the coldest temperatures of the season so far.
Before the cold weather arrives, the forecast includes showers and highs in the 50s on Monday and afternoon sunshine and highs in the 60s on Tuesday.
Clouds return overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, and rain chances increase Wednesday morning and afternoon with highs in the upper 50s.
The big change comes late Wednesday into early Thursday morning when a cold air mass moves across the area. Temperatures will drop into the mid- to upper 20s before dawn and won’t be much warmer during the day Thursday.
The National Weather Service also predicts the cold weather mixed with moist air will bring a 90 percent chance of precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning, dropping to a 50 percent chance the rest of the day. A wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain is possible.
Drivers should be aware of potentially hazardous road conditions. Local and state authorities will monitor the situation and might pre-treat roads when possible.
The cities of Burnet and Marble Falls maintain regular communication with the Texas Department of Transportation regarding road conditions. Officials with both cities said TxDOT handles U.S. 281, Texas 29, and RR 1431, while city crews focus on other areas.
The city of Burnet recently acquired a salt/sand spreader and 10,000 pounds of anti-icing product for use during icy situations.
The coming arctic front will not be like the February 2021 winter storm, weather officials added. However, the cold temperatures will hold on for a few days, dropping down into the mid- and upper teens Thursday night with winds at 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph.
The sun should return Friday, Feb. 4, but highs will barely get above freezing. Another hard freeze is expected Friday night. On Saturday, temperatures will peak at around 40 degrees.
As with previous cold snaps, residents should remember the four Ps: people, pets, pipes, and plants.
It’s also a good idea to have batteries, water, and food on hand for a few days. And if traveling, take extra food and water as well as blankets, warm-weather gear, and jumper cables in case you get stranded.
Visit DriveTexas.org for road conditions. For more information regarding winter weather and winter storm preparation, see The Picayune’s checklist in the February issue, compiled from information on the Pedernales Electric Cooperative website.