Winter Storm Watch issued for NW counties
Wintry weather expected, but forecast challenges remain
The biggest challenges we’re going to work through over the coming days is the temperature. It’s likely that we will fall below freezing overnight Wednesday into Thursday which should cause the switch from rain to freezing rain. There is a small chance that the coldest air stays bottled to the north and only cities and towns west of I-35 drop below freezing with the rest of the area hovering near freezing through the day.
If freezing temperatures are widespread across Central Texas with freezing rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning (which is likely), travel could be especially difficult through mid-morning Friday thanks to ice on roadways (especially bridges, overpasses, and less frequently traveled roadways).
Power outages are possible but the cause of the power outages would stem more from downed power lines. Unlike last February, widespread wintry weather and freezing temperatures across the state IS NOT expected so many power generation facilities should stay online to deal with the expected near-record power demand.
Icy conditions should cause temperatures to stay below freezing thanks to widespread clouds and gusty north winds throughout the day Thursday. Highs Thursday should hover in the mid-to-upper 20s and potentially could drop into the low-to-mid 20s in a few spots depending on how long precipitation lasts. Wind chills Thursday, thanks to gusty north winds gusting near 30 MPH, should be in the single-digits and teens throughout the day. Temperatures should then dip into the mid-teens Friday morning before warming up into the low-to-mid 30s Friday afternoon. Any ice that does accrete should gradually erode Friday with some sunshine returning and temperatures eventually warming above freezing, but there still could be issues on some roadways through Saturday morning.
If we hover close to freezing Thursday, we could mostly avoid wintry weather with some icy conditions possible west of I-35. A lack of freezing rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning means temperatures could be a lot warmer than what we currently have forecast, but sub-freezing temperatures are still expected each morning through at least Saturday morning. Again, this scenario is unlikely but possible.
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