We certainly dodged a bullet earlier this morning as the precipitation we saw last night ended just shortly after midnight. Therefore, we had no problems this morning as roadways remained dry.
We will not be as fortunate, however, with this second and final round of precipitation that has already started to move into East Texas this afternoon.
With our main area of low pressure moving in this evening, there will be more lift and moisture available for more widespread rain and freezing rain to take place.
As a result, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby counties have seen their Winter Weather Advisory be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. That means areas east of the Highway 59 corridor will have the best chance to see significant ice accumulations of over a quarter of an inch this evening and tonight. That quarter of an inch is a benchmark where not only roads become iced over and very dangerous, but it also may lead to some downed power lines as the weight of the ice could cause them to come down, leading to power outages. That means if you live in San Augustine, Center, Hemphill, Tenaha, Timpson, and near these communities, you need to charge your phones, have extra batteries on hand, and make sure you are off the roads by late this afternoon.
Elsewhere, a cold rain will take place for Lufkin and Nacogdoches, before changing over to freezing rain later this evening. The one saving grace for these areas is that our temperatures were able to get up to 40° earlier today. As a result, it will delay the onset of the frozen precipitation due to the extra time it will take for surface temperatures to get down to the freezing mark. Therefore, ice accumulations in Angelina, southern Cherokee, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Trinity, and Tyler counties should range from a tenth to a quarter of an inch.
This means roads may ice over, with elevated surfaces being the main factor. If we see no more than 0.15", then power outages and significant icing should not be a huge factor.
After the precipitation moves out tonight, we will be in store for a great stretch of sunny, dry, and warmer weather for the foreseeable future. We do have to get through the next 12 to 18 hours, though, before we are in the clear.
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