Freezy and breezy

Texas winter storm 2023

The year has only begun and Texas has already received exceptional winter weather that resulted in cancellations and slick road conditions. 

If you took a look out your dorm window or viewed your fellow friends’ social media, you were bound to see students sledding on the ice with any object they could find, or sledding down the hills of Stephenville City Park. Given a week-long break, cabin fever set in for most students who were ready to get back into their normal routine and looking forward to the sunshine.

During the early hours of Monday, Jan. 30, light rainfall began accompanied with cold temperatures. As conditions began to worsen and roads showed signs of ice accumulations, schools and businesses closed early to beat the worsening road conditions. By Tuesday most of Texas was covered in a blanket of ice with temperatures below freezing. These conditions continued well into Thursday, Feb. 2. By Friday, some schools and businesses stayed closed while others opened up for the first time in almost a week. With high temperatures and sunny skies, most ice and snow was melted by the afternoon.

This year’s winter storm was named Winter Storm Mara by The Weather Channel. The ice storm was a result of the Arctic cold passage making its way south accompanied with warm moist air from the gulf shore. Dallas set a daily snowfall record on Jan. 31 at 1.3 inches. Austin’s KXAN reported that this was the worst ice event in central Texas in over 15 years. Many interstates shut down due to car accidents and people were left without power due to fallen tree limbs and down power lines. On Feb. 4, Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for seven counties. 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted for snowfall to hit Texas in mid-late Jan. and early Feb. With a colder winter than normal, highest temperatures reaching mid Jan. to mid Feb. Based on the recent weather conditions, the Old Farmer’s Almanac provided insight to some accuracy. 

While we are nearing the end of winter months, with one ice storm out of the way, many are looking forward to higher temperatures and sunnier days!