National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A record cold arctic air mass for late October moved across the high plains on Sunday, October 25th as a major winter storm slowly developed over the Desert Southwest. This combination led to three significant wintry precipitation episodes from Monday night through early Thursday morning.  The initial precipitation event on Monday night included a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain in the central and eastern Panhandles with heavy snow across portions of the northern Panhandles.  Impacts from this first event were mainly poor travel conditions due to icy roads which led to numerous school and business delays and closures.  Most of the freezing rain came from the second precipitation episode Tuesday night into early Wednesday across the southeast Texas Panhandle when ¼ to ¾” ice accumulations occurred.  Additional sleet and snow accumulations occurred further west where deeper cold air existed.  This again led to significant travel issues, but also caused numerous power outages and tree damage in areas hardest hit by ice, with the majority of several counties left without power for multiple days.  One final precipitation episode occurred as the main storm system crossed Texas just south of the Texas Panhandle Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. This precipitation fell in the form of rain across the northern Panhandles and the southeast Texas Panhandle where temperatures had managed to increase into the mid 30s, but heavy snow occurred in the central and southwest Texas Panhandle where temperatures remained in the low 30s. The combination of windy conditions and heavy snow, with rates of over 2 inches per hour at times, led to treacherous travel due to poor visibility and rapid snow accumulations on roadways.  With trees and powerlines still heavy due to ice from previous freezing rain events, strong winds and heavy wet snow led to additional power outages. Snow and ice melted rapidly off roadways on Thursday and travel greatly improved by midday.


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