As San Antonio sees wintry mix in forecast, icy roads become a concern

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — After an unseasonably warm winter, San Antonio is preparing to possibly see some snow and icy roads tomorrow.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Platt said that a cold front will begin moving into the San Antonio area around 7 p.m. that will bring gusty wind up to 35 mph and a drop in temperatures.

Platt said that precipitation is not expected to join the mix until around sunrise that may include a mixture of rain and sleet into the afternoon.

“The temperatures, I think, for most of the area are going to stay above freezing. We’re only forecasting a high of around 37 [or] 38 degrees for downtown San Antonio,” Platt told KTSA. “The northern part of Bexar County and into the Hill Country, their temperatures are going to be even colder, but may old peak at around 34 or 35 degrees.”

Platt said that a band of “slightly heavier wintry precipitation” will possibly move out of the Hill Country and into the San Antonio area that increases the chance for snow or wintry mix in the afternoon and evening as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.

“There could be a snowflake or two mixed in there, but I think it’s mainly more of a freezing rain and sleet type event during the evening hours.”

Temperatures are expected to drop in the lower 20’s in the northern part of the county and around 28 or 29 degrees in downtown, Platt said, leading to a concern for frozen roadways. The below-freezing temps are expected to linger in the area until around 10 a.m. Friday.

The City of San Antonio offered some tips for residents to consider in their preparations that include planning on dressing in layers, to check on elderly family and neighbors, to bring pets inside, covering outdoor pipes and to allow faucets to slowly drip to avoid freezing, and to cover outdoor plants with cloth fabric and to bring potted plants inside.

You can read the City of San Antonio winter weather preparedness guide here.

Animal Care Services will be patrolling to ensure that residents are following state and city animal laws that say dogs cannot be left outdoors restrained and unattended during weather emergencies. Violators face fines of up to $2,000 and jail time up to 180 days for repeat offenders.

Warming centers will open tomorrow at noon and will remain open until noon Friday at four locations and transportation is available by calling 3-1-1. Pets are welcome.

  • Garza Community Center located at 1450 Mira Vista.
  • Harlandale Community Center located at 7227 Briar place.
  • Hamilton Community Center located at 10700 Nacogdoches Road.
  • Denver Heights Community Center located at 300 Porter Street.

Non-profits have opened temporary shelters for unsheltered homeless at Haven for Hope, Church Under the Bridge, Corazon Ministries, Life Restore Church and City Church San Antonio.

The warm temps the area has seen over the last few days should help surface roads melt ice more quickly than normal, but bridges and overpasses will likely freeze over quickly, Platt said.

TxDOT began treating bridges and overpasses in Bexar, Kendall, Kerr and Comal counties beginning at 9 a.m. and will treat the roadways again tomorrow.

Bexar County will begin dispersing chat rock and chip seal rock on about 265 bridges and overpasses in the unincorporated areas of the county early tomorrow morning, Bexar County Assistant Public Information Officer Tom Peine said. The substrates will provide extra traction on roadways.

Platt said the short duration of this weather system means that a repeat of February’s winter storm last year is incredibly unlikely. Sunshine is expected Friday afternoon with temperatures reaching in the mid-40’s to low-50’s.

“Into Saturday and Sunday, we’re not really going to see much relief,” Platt said. “Maybe mid-50’s, which is normal for this time of year.”

CPS Energy assured customers Wednesday the utility is prepared for the freezing temperatures but is asking customers to make sure their emergency plans are ready to be put in action.

CPS Energy said customers should keep all mobile devices charged and have battery-powered LED lights, flashlights and batteries ready to go and to check breakers if neighbors have power.

Downed power lines should be reported to CPS Energy at (210)-353-4357 and people should avoid them at all costs.

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