Don’t Let Your Guard Down Yet: “Winter Version of Hurricane Harvey”

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect along and north of US 59 through tonight

Cold temperatures – especially at night – will continue to result in infrastructure and human hardships

Another hard freeze is likely Friday morning

Abbott Dubs Storm “The Winter Version of Harvey”

Governor Greg Abbott is calling this “the winter version of Hurricane Harvey.” Back in 2017, Harvey ravaged various parts of Texas for five days. This series of storms will last just as long and affect even more people. Here’s what to expect for the second half of the week.

Two More Fronts Collide over Houston

A coastal low is forming south of Matagorda Bay and will progress NE toward Houston tonight into Wednesday. This will add moisture to the arctic cold dome over the region. As rain begins to fall, temperatures will also fall and dewpoints will rise.

Freeze Line Shifting Farther South That Previously Predicted

According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, “A “freeze line” should set up along and north of a line from roughly Matagorda Bay to Wharton to Pearland to Winnie. During the night this freezing line will begin to move northward slowly as warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico attempts to move inland. How far north this freezing line progresses is important as to what areas receive freezing rain and ice accumulation and what areas see plain rain.” 

Icicles formed in storms during last two days started to melt this afternoon. But temps will drop below freezing the the Lake Houston Area again tonight and more freezing precipitation is on the way.

The freezing line should slowly move north through the morning hours on Wednesday with freezing rain and ice transitioning to rain. “Expect the greatest ice accumulations to be found along and north of US 59/I-10 where temperatures will remain colder for the longest period of time,” says Lindner. 

Minor ice accumulations will be possible generally south of US 59 with accumulations of .10 to .25 of an inch generally north of US 59.

“Isolated amounts of .25-.50 will be possible mainly far to the north of Houston where a devastating ice storm is looking likely.” 

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Ice on Lines Another Threat to Unstable Power

These ice accumulations will likely result in some tree damage and power line damage over the region and hamper efforts to restore power generation.

Temperatures on Wednesday after mid to late morning will rise above freezing and any ice should begin to melt. Temperatures will fall below freezing again Wednesday night and Thursday morning and any water left on roadways will likely freeze again. 

Hard Freeze Likely Friday Morning with Temps in Teens Again

One final disturbance will cross the area early Thursday and there may be some light precipitation and will need to keep an eye on this feature on the next 24 hours. As this disturbance passes, another shot of cold arctic air will spread into the region resulting in another night of very cold temperatures on Friday morning. Temperatures will likely fall into the upper 10’s to mid-20’s yet again over the area.

This is bad news for people who have gone without power for days.

Abbott Calls For Investigation

More than 5 million people have suffered through temperatures in the low teens without power and Governor Greg Abbott is calling for ERCOT leadership to resign and for there to be an immediate investigation.

Centerpoint says it could be days longer before power is fully restored. So don’t let your guard up yet.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/16/2021 at 8 PM based on information provided by Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist.

1267 Days since Hurricane Harvey