LOCAL WEATHER

Wintry mix, icy roads expected Monday night

The Austin area could see between one-tenth of an inch up to one fourth of an inch in freezing rain and sleet with icy roads through Tuesday evening.

Posted

A winter storm watch was issued Sunday for the Austin area for Monday night that will bring a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow with icy roads likely.

While Monday is expected to be mild, a cold front is expected to come through Central Texas overnight into Tuesday morning bringing freezing temperatures and moisture from the Gulf, according to the National Weather Service.

A number of meteorologists said Sunday the Austin area could see between one-tenth of an inch up to one fourth of an inch in freezing rain and sleet with icy roads through Tuesday evening with lows in the upper 20s. Expect significant impacts to commutes and travel.

It’s also supposed to get windy, with north wind gusts of 15 to 25 mph expected for the area starting Monday night through Tuesday.

The wintry conditions may remain through the middle of the week. Wednesday is expected to be cloudy and will see temperatures ranging in the 20s and 30s, with a chance for more freezing rain Thursday morning, according to the weather service.

Temperatures should warm back up by Friday, where highs are near 60, according to weather service forecasts.

A release issued on Friday said that TxDOT started pretreating activities on I-35 at 8 a.m. Sunday morning before moving on to other major highways in the region.

Leander ISD spokesperson Corey Ryan said on Friday afternoon that the district is monitoring the situation as well to determine what, if any, affects the weather might have on area children returning to school on Tuesday after the Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

For up to date information about school closings in LISD, visit here or sign up for the School Messenger service.

Icy conditions

TxDOT provided the following tips to help motorists who need to drive during potentially icy conditions:

  • Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses. These are the first to freeze.
  • Reduce speed and drive with caution. A vehicle needs at least three times more space to stop on a slick roadway. Do not apply the brakes suddenly, and avoid using cruise control, so that you can respond better if you encounter slippery roads.
  • Slow down when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, especially when their flashing lights are on. The law requires you to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching a deicing crews, and do not pass on the right. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
  • Be patient. Your trip time – including short commutes to work – could increase when adverse weather conditions exist. Also, keep to the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts through territory that may not have been plowed.
  • Winterize vehicles before traveling during adverse weather. Check fuel, tire, oil and antifreeze levels. Make sure heater, brakes and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.

For real-time roadway conditions, check DriveTexas.org

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