A winter storm threatening to bring freezing rain, sleet and snow, has prompted the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning for our area.

A strong cold front should clear the coast by noon today, followed by increasingly strong winds and light rain. With temperatures expected to drop to near 30 over much, if not all, of the county by morning. Light freezing rain, sleet and some snow are possible through mid-day tomorrow, when rising temperatures will eliminate the icing threat.

Travel early tomorrow, especially on the mainland and points north will be extremely dangerous as ice accumulates on overpasses. Icing on the causeway will be a threat for early tomorrow and motorists are advised to check local conditions and the latest advisories.

If there is any good news with this storm, it is that temperatures will rise above freezing by around noon on Friday with clearing skies and comparatively milder conditions on Saturday. If it is any consolation, at least we are not facing the extreme weather seen on this day in 1940 when nearly an inch of ice, sleet and snow coated the county with the mercury plunging to a frigid 19 degrees.

At any rate, stay warm, protect pipes, pets and plants and avoid unnecessary travel.

Winter Storm Warning

Winter Storm Warning graphic from Houston-Galveston NWS

Winter Storm Watch/Warning graphic

Current surface weather map

Current radar loop

Stan Blazyk is a life-long weather enthusiast, long-time Galveston resident and author of "A Century of Galveston Weather." He has written the weather blog for the Galveston County Daily News for more than a decade.

(6) comments

Mary Smith

Stan, should we be worried about pipes bursting, here in Galveston?

Stan Blazyk Staff
Stan Blazyk

It probably won't get as cold, or any colder, than the last freeze and will be freezing for a shorter period of time. So, if you didn't wrap them on the 6th and 7th, then they will probably be ok this time around. But, if they are very exposed, then you might consider wrapping them as a precaution since we are still in January and February often brings the lowest temperatures of the season.

Lars Faltskog

I've always found weather and its idiosycracies interesting. When I was a teen, I developed a big interest in plants/gardening. Through the years I learned that it's actually better to have a snow event (like we did in 2004). The air temperature when it snows/sleets is higher than those "whammo" freezes.

In 2004, even with the snow event, the rubber trees and plumerias survived. A couple of years ago with the much colder freezing temps (but no snow) - that's when the rubber trees died and all the perriwinkles I tried to winter over met their demise. Oh well...we shouldn't complain. We still have 300 plus days of growing season.

Kevin Lang

300 days about covers summer.... Then there's about 15 each of spring and summer, leaving only about 35 days a year for winter. The weird thing around here is that those 35 days of winter can happen any time between late October and early April. We can have a hard freeze one day, and then a hot summer day the next. The one thing we can be sure of around here is that people like Stan won't stay bored for long. When I lived in the San Jose, CA area, you pretty much knew what the weather was going to be like.

Robert Buckner

I've seen a few flurries, some rain, and quite a bit of sleet since 3:00am. I've had enough winter for the year.

Stan Blazyk Staff
Stan Blazyk

We mostly had freezing rain, BUT I did see two brief snow flurries on the Island this morning and we had a period of snow grains around 11 am. So, I think those who are saying that there was no snow in Galveston were wrong. I've been observing sleet, snow and freezing rain all my life and I know the difference.

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