Winter Storm Warning issued for most of Houston

Schools are closing for Tuesday, and given what we know about the forecast, that seems a sensible precaution. Already, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the entire metro area along and north of Interstate 10, and this effectively means there is a significant potential for snow and ice accumulation.

(National Weather Service)

Basically, a mess is coming. The cold front arriving between midnight and sunrise on Tuesday seems to be a little bit colder than advertised, and this means that a freezing line should move through Houston earlier than expected, perhaps within an hour or two of sunrise. And that means the potential for freezing rain—the worst of all kinds of winter precipitation because it makes roadways incredibly slippery even with slight accumulations—will move into Houston around the same time.

Road crews are treating freeways and other major arteries with a salt-based solution that lowers the freezing temperature of water and could help some, but under the present forecast we can still expect some bridges and overpasses to freeze, in addition to untreated roads. In short, if you don’t have to get up and drive to work on Tuesday morning, don’t. If you run a business, please consider giving your employees the day off. It is by no means certain that some or many Houston roadways will be icy Tuesday morning or midday, but at this point there’s a pretty good chance.

The precipitation, some of which may transition from freezing rain to sleet or snow later on Tuesday across Houston, should end by the afternoon or evening hours. But with temperatures remaining below freezing, and depending on how much rain falls, roads may not improve much after the precipitation stops during the evening and overnight hours.

We will have a comprehensive update by 6am CT on Tuesday.

11 thoughts on “Winter Storm Warning issued for most of Houston”

  1. Thank you for the warning! My dear Fulgencio just called me crying after hearing we are under a warning. I assured him he will be safe as long as he stays inside and does not venture out driving so once he arrives home I can comfort him and show him your words. We eagerly await a day resting inside by the fire if necessary and thankfully we already stocked up on our wine and other necessities if necessary! Best wishes to all!

  2. Thanks for the excellent “heads up”
    I’m retired, don’t have to commute, but my wife works at MFAH. We’ll use your update in the AM to see if she attempts the drive.

    Anyone who is driving on a front wheel drive vehicle, if you sense a skid on ice, shift to neutral and stay off the brakes. The car will stop skidding. An old trick learned from AAA Auto Club

    • Hmmm…. might be different with anti-lock brakes which would tend to minimize a skid while braking.

      • We had that bad ice storm a couple years ago. Worked for me then in a
        Honda CR -V with antilock brakes. Biggest problem is people not used to ice / snow who drive way too fast. A/B brakes useless there

  3. Unbelievable that everything is cancelled already, whatever happened to wait and see? I guess since I grew up in a climate where it can really get cold and snow, I am shocked, and I was foolish enough to go to a grocery store, which was packed. This is predicted to last for one day, you will not starve that fast, don’t worry. Also, unreal that all the people who wish for cold, and “real” winter, and no more heat, aren’t getting excited to go out and bask in it.

    • I grew up in colorado and thought the same thing when this happend a few years ago. Then the next day on my way to work it was total chaos because for one – no plows and two – most people here don’t have snow tires and even if they did they have no experience driving on it. Multiply this by a few million people and its a nightmare. Google atlanta snowmageddon 2014 and you’ll see what i mean.

      • From Nebraska and you’re so right! Stay home if you can. Many folks have no idea how to control a car on dark ice. Big 4 wheel drive pickups Do Not Help!

  4. Appreciate all your facts Eric!!
    As much as i hate it, i am staying home tomorrow❄️❄️❄️❄️

    • There is an advisory, but in my mind that is almost as good as a warning. There’s definitely the concern for icy conditions near the coast later this morning and during the afternoon hours.

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