Cities across Galveston County spent Thursday preparing for the possibility of colder weather over the weekend, while local forecasters said temperatures might not get as low as previously expected.
A cold front could push temperatures into the upper 30s in Galveston and lower- to mid-30s in the northern parts of Galveston County by late Saturday and early Sunday morning, said Wendy Wong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in League City.
That’s higher than the initial forecasts, which predicted temperatures on the island could be below freezing, Wong said.
Despite the new forecast numbers, several cities are still preparing for the concerns that come with freezing temperatures.
Crews from several League City departments will monitor cold weather, said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the city.
Street department crews have pre-staged rocks for use on iced roads and bridges, while traffic crews prepared signs and barricades if needed, Greer Osborne said. Water and wastewater staff have been insulating exposed lines.
In La Marque, the city’s emergency management department is informing residents to wrap exposed pipes, spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.
The freezing temperatures are more likely in the north county, but the city of Galveston is preparing for the possibility of severe weather, city spokeswoman Marissa Barnett said.
“Our municipal utilities department also has additional people working this weekend to monitor pipes and potential breaks,” Barnett said. “We have staff on standby in case of an emergency. Our water tank is full.”
The Galveston County Office of Emergency Management is reminding people to cover plants, keep pets inside, to insulate exterior pipes and to dress warmly, spokesman Zach Davidson said.
“They’re actively monitoring it, but this should be a fairly brief cold snap,” Davidson said. “If anything changes, we’ll change our approach.”
Temperatures in Galveston County reached the 70s on Thursday after an upper level disturbance moved out of the area, Wong said. Those higher temperatures should last until increased chances of rain come with a second cold front beginning late Friday.
Showers and thunderstorms could be likely throughout the cold front, Wong said.
High temperatures on Sunday could be in the 40s, but wind speeds could make it feel much colder, Wong said.
The high wind speeds could also increase the possibility of intense sea fog in Galveston over the weekend, Wong said.
“This is a fairly active winter season of late,” Wong said. “We’re seeing a lot of systems coming and going.”