Cold temperatures are coming

Sonny Long

Jan. 31, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 30, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.

Residents should brace for another blast of arctic air through Saturday, as the coldest weather to hit the Crossroads since 1989 could be on the way, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will begin dipping into the 40s Tuesday afternoon as winds pick up with gusts up to 40 mph and a 30 percent chance of rain.

Lows in the 20s are expected Tuesday through Saturday nights.

Wednesday's high will remain in the 30s and Thursday's forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of light snow and sleet, with highs again in the mid-30s.

The best chance of snow might be Thursday night with a 40 percent chance.

Sleet and freezing drizzle are also possible and this could cause significant travel problems, especially on bridges and overpasses, according to the weather service.

Victoria County Commissioner Clint Ives, whose Precinct 4 includes the heavily traveled U.S. Highway 59 and U.S. Highway 77, said he and his staff are staying on top of the situation.

"We're keeping an eye on the weather," Ives said. "We'll see what the forecast looks like Tuesday or Wednesday morning before we actually do anything."

The commissioner said he is also in contact with Jeb Lacey, the county's emergency management coordinator, to stay abreast of any changes or potential problems.

The state, too, is on weather alert.

Maintenance crews and support personnel at the Texas Department of Transportation have been servicing and preparing vehicles and heavy equipment in preparation for emergent winter storms, according to a news release.

"Priority routes have been determined and crews are on standby ready to work 12-hour shifts to keep as many roadways open as possible," said Amy Loos, public information officer. "Motorists should be prepared to drive with extreme caution during icy conditions."

Residents of South Texas are also advised to make preparations to protect sensitive plants, outdoor water pipes and pets and to check on the elderly to make sure they are prepared for this long duration winter event, John Metz, of the National Weather Service, said in a news release.

"There is still considerable uncertainty in this forecast and a lot could change," Metz said.



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