Winter storm Uri, whose name is derived from the Hebrew word for “light,” instead cast much of the Lone Star State in darkness Sunday and Monday with snow and ice causing dowed power lines and trees and making travel extremely difficult.
Texas governor, Greg Abbott, issued a state of emergency across the entire state ahead of the arrival of the storm, and secured a federal emergency declaration from the White House in order to make additional resources available for communities impacted by this weather event.
“Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming,” said Governor Abbott. “Stay off the roads, take conscious steps to conserve energy, and avoid dangerous practices like bringing generators indoors or heating homes with ovens or stovetops.”
A large swatch of snow, ranging from three to five inches, fell roughly near and east of an Eagle Pass to San Antonio to Austin line. Isolated pockets of 6 to 7 inches of snow have been reported at some locations.
Travel remained very difficult to near impossible across many areas as the snow and ice covered roads were expected to persist through at least Tuesday.
Temperatures which dipped into single digits in Burnet and Llano counties were among the coldest reported in 32 years and even lower temperatures, including some which could reach into negative numbers for the first time since 1949, were anticipated. Wind chill values Monday morning alone ranged from 0 to 15 degrees and officials warned that without proper protection from the cold, hypothermia could set in.
Residents were reminded to protect plants and pipes and provide shelter for their pets. Another disturbance was expected to provide a chance of freezing rain Tuesday night into Wednesday and a possible wintry mix was forecast for Wednesday night with more ice accumulations possible.
“Life-threatening cold is an additional risk with this storm, and any motorists who become stranded on snowy or icy roads may find themselves in a dangerous situation. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures in some areas may be in the single digits or even below zero for 12 hours or more, and that’s a significant concern for anyone unprepared for cold of this magnitude as hypothermia and frostbite can occur very rapidly,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins
The cold will also help to keep any ice and snow accumulations around for several days following the end of the storm.