Snow & Ice Moving In – Winter Storm Warning

We have a classic setup to receive snow in Southeast Texas.  Low pressure moving in from South Texas picks up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and moves over us, and below-freezing temperatures from the arctic blast will still be coming in from the north. 

The white line represents the temperature profile in the upper levels of the atmosphere.  We have a shallow layer of below-freezing temperatures along the coast.  What happens with a setup like this is rain falls but freezes once it hits the ground.  This makes freezing rain for our coastal counties and the most dangerous driving conditions.  We start with sleet in Houston this evening and the rain is freezing as it falls.  After a few hours this will all turn to snow.  We have a deep layer of below-freezing temperatures north of Houston, so all precipitation will fall as snow.  Because the temperatures have been in the 20s and 30s the snow and ice will stick and accumulate right away.   

By Friday morning we’ll have about a half-inch of ice in Galveston, 1 to 3 inches of snow in Houston, west and north with more northeast of Houston.  Be careful Friday morning, it will be dangerous on the roadways.

Click here to watch your Thursday’s webcast:

Winter Weather Alert Webcast


6 Responses

  1. I am looking at the JustWeather radar and it looks like there is already sleet and snow in the Houston area but when you look outside there is nothing but overcast. What is the radar showing?


    • It’s called bright banding. The radar is picking up on the ice in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Most of this isn’t reaching the ground just yet because it is so dry on the ground, but this afternoon it will start falling.

  2. Thanks for the insight. How will we know when the transition is complete and stuff is actually hitting the ground. I am an offie manager with people coming a long way. I would like to know when I should start sending them home.


  3. Can we expect the ice/snow to melt enough Friday afternoon to make for safer road conditions for the weekend?

    • All of the ice should be cleared out by 10am Saturday. Untreated roads will have ice on them through that time.

  4. Thanks for keeping calm and drama free when you give your forecast. Thanks for giving us the scientific explanation behind things (I tried to recreate your drawing of the warm temps above our cold air for my curious 3rd graders waiting for the snow yesterday). Most of all, thanks for admitting that things just didn’t happen like you thought they were going to happen. Stay warm!

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