Image: This snowman presides over the Booker Taliaferro Washington Park in Conroe.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and Montgomery County, February 16 – With more snow on its way to southeast Texas and Montgomery County, the Montgomery County government will remain closed on Wednesday, February 17. The City of Conroe and the Woodlands Township will also remain closed on Wednesday.
The following school closures will continue:
- Conroe Independent School District – closed Wednesday, February 17, and Thursday, February 18;
- Magnolia Independent School District – schools and offices closed Wednesday, February 17, but remote learning will continue;
- Montgomery Independent School District – closed Wednesday, February 17, and Thursday, February 18;
- New Caney Independent School District – closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, February 17 to 19, for Mid-Winter Break;
- Splendora Independent School District – closed Wednesday, February 17; and
- Willis Independent School District – closed Wednesday, February 17, and Thursday, February 18.
According to the National Weather Service, an area of low pressure will develop over southern Texas this evening. This low pressure will go onto produce heavy snow and ice from the Southern Plains, through the Mississippi Valley tomorrow and into the Northeast by Thursday. An area of 3-6 inches of snow are possible for much of Oklahoma and Arkansas through tomorrow. Between 0.1 to 0.25 inches of freezing rain may fall over eastern Texas through northern Louisiana/southern Arkansas/western Mississippi.
The National Weather Service issued the following “Winter Storm Warning” at approximately 1 p.m. today:
…DANGEROUS ICE STORM EXPECTED TO CREATE LIFE THREATENING
CONDITIONS THROUGH TOMORROW MORNING ACROSS INLAND PORTIONS OF
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING
TO 6 AM CST THURSDAY…
* WHAT…An approaching low pressure system tonight through
tomorrow morning will bring a period of dangerous and
potentially destructive freezing rain across the region with ice
accumulation anticipated. Amounts are expected to range from a
trace to a tenth of an inch along and around the Highway 59
corridor with higher amounts expanding further northward. The
highest totals from two tenths of an inch to in excess of one
half inch will be to the north of a line from Bryan/College
Station to Huntsville to Groveton. Some locations could see
isolated higher amounts. These would be devastating amounts of
ice with the potential to create additional power outages.
* WHERE…Inland areas of Southeast Texas.
* WHEN…Tonight through Wednesday morning.
* IMPACTS…Icy conditions will worsen quickly across the region
tonight with the freezing rain. Very dangerous driving
conditions from icy roads are expected. Travel should be
avoided. Vegetation and powerlines will become coated with ice
and as the ice accumulates will lead to breaking tree limbs and
power lines. The power outages already present in many locations
could well worsen. Even though some areas may thaw out briefly
the potential for refreeze will be high Wednesday night with
another cold front bringing subfreezing temperatures back across
Meanwhile, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is a nonprofit organization apparently formed to ensure poor planning for power outages, provided the following threat this afternoon:
“ERCOT has issued an EEA [Energy Emergency Alert] level 3 because electric demand is very high right now, and supplies can’t keep up. Reserves have dropped below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes; as a result, ERCOT has ordered transmission companies to reduce demand on the system.
“This is typically done through rotating outages, which are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service. This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.
“In these situations, each utility is required to lower the demand on its system based on its percentage of the historic ERCOT peak demand. While each utility is responsible for determining how to implement the required demand reduction, most utilities use rotating outages for this purpose. Rotating outages primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses and are typically limited to 10 to 45 minutes before being rotated to another location.”