AUSTIN The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging Texans to prepare for a strong cold front expected to impact parts of Texas Thursday through Saturday morning.
Forecasts indicate the possibility of sleet and snow accumulation, including as much as two inches in portions of Texas.
In Brown County, the winter weather isn't expected to be as severe as in other parts of the state. The forecast is for light snow about 1/2 inch beginning Thursday afternoon and possibly a little sleet, National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Reimer of San Angelo said.
It will be cold, though, with Thursday's high expected to be 34 and a low Thursday night of 20. Friday is expected to be warmer with precipitation ended, Reimer said.
Brown County "is not looking at a major winter storm," Reimer said, although he cautioned the light snow will likely create "tricky spots" in driving.
The DPS is urging caution statewide.
"DPS is asking drivers to use extra caution on Texas roadways as an arctic front moves into areas of the state. Drivers may encounter freezing rain, sleet or snow is some areas, which could create extremely dangerous driving conditions, said DPS Director Steven McCraw. As always, Texans should continue to monitor the changing weather conditions in their area and prepare for any expected hazards.
In preparation for this winter storm, the State Operations Center will activate to Level III (increased readiness conditions) on Thursday evening to monitor and coordinate this weather event. Several state agencies, including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Military Forces, are standing by to assist communities before, during and after this weather event as needed.
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during this weather event:
Avoid unnecessary travel if possible, monitor local weather broadcasts, and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions at http://www.weather.gov/.
Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas.
On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip check fluid and antifreeze levels.
Buckle up everyone in the vehicle its the law.
For more information on road conditions statewide, check www.drivetexas.org or call 800-452-9292.
In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
Blankets/sleeping bags and extra clothing, mittens and hat
Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries
First-aid kit and pocket knife
High-calorie, nonperishable food, bottled water
Sack of sand or cat litter for de-icing roadway
Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel
For additional information regarding winter weather preparedness, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/threatawareness/winterStormPlanning.htm