Several reports of power outages across Midland, Odessa, and other towns across the Permian Basin and South Plains have been received over the past 45 minutes. A large area of freezing rain, mixed with sleet at times, continues to fall from the Alpine Mountains northeast into Odessa and north to Lubbock where temperatures are at or below freezing. Ice accumulations are causing hazardous travel conditions and accidents are being reported. A new development over the past hour is that we now have power outages being caused by downed power lines. The power lines are falling due to significant ice accumulations weighing them down. The area of winter precipitation will continue through the afternoon hours and actually expand in coverage by early evening. Travel is not recommended for the remainder of the day across the Permian Basin or South Plains as the winter storm will only continue to cause hazardous conditions.
The HRRR at 11 PM this evening still has a large precipitation shield across a chunk of Texas. Snow will be falling across parts of the South Plains with Freezing Rain/Sleet in the Rolling Plains and rain east of that where temperatures will be above freezing. We’ll continue to monitor temperature trends closely this afternoon since warm air advection is actually helping to slowly warm up the atmosphere and cause surface temperatures to climb. I don’t anticipate much in the way of additional warming but maybe we can get a few cities just above freezing. Overnight into Saturday morning an area of moderate to heavy snow will spread over the Texas Panhandle resulting in travel issues and significant accumulations.