Thursday Update: What's In San Antonio's Forecast For The Rest Of The Week?
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Updated Feb. 18. at 11:15 a.m.
The National Weather Service has increased snowfall amounts, and lowered temperatures for Thursday’s last blast of cold from a damaging, frigid weather system.
Forecasters now say 3 to 6 inches of snowfall, with isolated pockets of 8 inches, is likely across the southern Edwards Plateau and U.S. 90 corridor from Hondo to Del Rio.
Farther east, 1 to 2 inches is forecasted from Kerrville to San Antonio.
Elsewhere, a dusting of up to 1 inch is possible. Some areas farther to the north and southeast of San Antonio may not see any snow Thursday.
The snow is forecast to taper off through the late Thursday afternoon and early evening.
High temperatures on Thursday are now expected to remain in the upper 20s and lower 30s in the San Antonio area with colder temperatures to the north of the city.
Temperatures will dip into the teens to lower 20s Thursday night and early Friday around the San Antonio area.
Outages left hundreds of thousands without power and water this week, and the snow-ice mixture caused thousands of traffic accidents. San Antonio residents were advised to boil water for drinking as a precaution due to the loss of water pressure from an inability to pump water in some areas.
Nearly 200,000 CPS customers had power restored on Thursday after the state grid operator said the need for controlled outages had passed. There are still about 7,000 households in the dark because of downed lines and blown fuses.
It has also slowed the region’s battle against COVID-19 as vaccinations and testing has been postponed.
Forecasters say there will be some sun on Friday with highs warming into the upper 30s to mid 40s, but still well below normal.
The warming continues through the weekend, powered by a shift of winds from the south. Highs in the 50s and 60s are expected on Saturday and Sunday.
By the middle of next week, highs could reach into the upper 60s to low 70s.
The San Antonio Fire Department is “stretched to the max” during the ongoing and extreme weather conditions.
"On an average day we get about 5-600 calls into our center. With those calls, say it's a house fire automobile accident, we're going to send multiple units to that incident," said Fire Chief Charles Hood "So for (Monday), we had 2,604 unit responses, and a lot of those are attributed to motor vehicle accidents. A lot of people were slipping and falling out on the ice. And then we had several house fires."
The extreme weather has prompted the fire department to offer new services, like delivering refills to oxygen tanks. Hood also said the trucks have been outfitted with gravel in salt to reach residents in hard-to-reach areas.
Updated Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
The last blast of a week-long winter assault on San Antonio is expected Wednesday night into Thursday.
The National Weather Service reports patchy freezing rain and sleet will begin falling and then change over to snow.
Additional snow accumulations ranging from a dusting to 1 inch are possible along and east of a Kerrville to San Antonio to Pleasanton line. About 1 to 3 inches of snow are possible west of the same line.
Travel was near impossible in many locations Wednesday morning due to ice covered roads.
Some melting of the ice is expected Wednesday afternoon, but difficult travel conditions are expected again late Wednesday night through Thursday with the latest round of wintry mix.
Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Laura Lopez said some road closures continued Wednesday, including the upper levels of I-10 and I-35 downtown.
She said while rising temperatures may thaw some roadways on Wednesday afternoon, barrels and barricades will remain up because of the next round of wintry mix expected.
Lopez said they have received reports of motorists trying to drive around barrels and barricades, which is dangerous.
She said black ice remains an issue on elevated roadways and bridges across San Antonio and the Hill County. Black ice is formed after a previous precipitation event melts and then freezes again.
Lopez said road crews were out again early Wednesday to apply chat rock and brine to weatherize roads.
Hundreds of accidents have been reported across the Hill County and in San Antonio and Austin due to poor road conditions.
CPS Energy as of midday Wednesday reported 279,000 customers without power. Some customers have gone hours and days without power as rolling blackouts to prevent a citywide blackout continue.
Johnson City-based Pedernales Electric Cooperative and Fredericksburg-based Central Texas Electric Cooperative reported thousands of members without power.
Freezing weather conditions, icy roads and rugged/remote terrain combine to delay repairs.
The San Antonio Water System is still dealing with water pressure issues across the city due to a lack of power to pump water. SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden said there is no truth to social media rumors that the utility plans to shut off water to the entire city.
The water utility warned residents to continue to protect pipes from the latest blast tonight. Exterior pipes should be wrapped or capped with insulation. Cabinets around indoor plumbing should be opened to allow heated indoor air to circulate around them.
They also advised residents to be on the lookout for broken water pipes that can cause property damage. If a break occurs, water should be turned off at the street meter as soon as possible.
A warming trend begins Friday and continues through early next week, daytime temperatures will steadily rise by more than 20 degrees.
Highs on Saturday will be in the 50s and highs Sunday through Tuesday will be in the 60s.
Updated on Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m.
The worst of a week-long winter blitz on San Antonio is over, but a few dangers still lie ahead before a welcome warming trend arrives.
A winter storm warning remains in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday for Bexar and surrounding counties and the Hill Country.
The National Weather Service reports the biggest threats until then are large amounts of black ice on roadway and concrete surfaces. Freezing rain is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, then a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
Additional ice accumulation could total up to a quarter of an inch through Wednesday, with additional light ice and snow accumulations possible Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The weather service warned of dangerous wind chills between -5 to -10 degrees on Monday morning following record lows. The wind chill was driven down by wind gusts around 30 mph.
Record temperatures were broken for three days in a row:
- A record low for the date of Feb. 15 was set on Monday at 9 degrees. The day also saw a record low high of 28 degrees.
- A record low for the date of Feb. 14 was set on Sunday at 13 degrees. It also tied the record lowest high for the date at 30.
- A record low high of 32 degrees was also set for the date of Feb. 13 on Saturday.
The weather service reports 3.7 inches of frozen precipitation, including snow, has fallen at San Antonio International Airport as this record-breaking weather event continues.
Other snowfall totals reported by weather spotters on Monday, included 7 inches at Brushy Creek, north of Austin and 5.9 inches at West Lake Hills, west of Austin. There were about 5 inches reported at Pipe Creek in Bandera County and in Llano. About 4 inches fell on New Braunfels, and 3 inches recorded in Poteet in Atascosa County.
High temperatures in the 40s are expected on Wednesday and Thursday, but the warming trend takes a firmer hold by this weekend, with highs in the 60s.
Major elevated freeway sections remained closed in San Antonio as of Tuesday afternoon and are expected to remain that way until noon Wednesday, when its safety will be re-evaluated by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The northbound main lanes of Loop 410 from Culebra to Callaghan remained closed. The southbound main lanes of Loop 410 from Ingram to State Highway 151 were also closed.
Hard-to-see black ice remains a problem on area roadways and in the Hill Country, where State Highway 16 at Kerrville was closed in north and south directions on Tuesday.
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