San Antonio arctic blast timeline moves up, freezing rain in forecast

'Winter Storm Watch' issued for parts of Hill Country, I-35, NWS says

‘Winter Storm Watch’ issued for parts of Hill Country, I-35, NWS says

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory on Saturday afternoon, for freezing rain. It will be in effect from 6 p.m. Sunday night, January 14 until Monday afternoon, January 15 at noon. There is a threat of ice/freezing rain accumulations and bittery cold wind chills will follow. 

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Well San Antonio, it seems the cold is inching closer to the area and the National Weather Service says the cold may not be the only thing the arctic blast is bringing with it. Although the daytime temperatures through the afternoon Saturday, January 13 will be bearable, a shift in timelines should have residents taking precautions earlier than expected.

On Friday, January 12, the NWS said the cold front headed for Texas has moved up its arrival date from the night of Sunday, January 14, to Saturday night. The Arctic front is now expected to arrive into the northern Hill Country Saturday night, and into the rest of the South Central Texas area by early Sunday morning, with colder temperatures than first reported due to wind chills expected to be in the teens in the Hill Country.

And instead of one or two days of cold airmass hovering around the region, the NWS is reporting colder temperatures will linger until Wednesday morning.

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The NWS is also reporting the probability for light freezing rain in the area has increased to a 20-40% chance, possibly expected to hit Sunday night into Monday morning, January 15. It is likely across the eastern 2/3 of South Central Texas.

Minor ice accumulation is also expected on elevated bridges and other surfaces where freezing rain is expected, the NWS says. Bridges and overpasses will be an area to monitor if you plan to do any driving. Texas Department of Transportation officials said they do plan to pretreat roads on Sunday in anticipation of the freezing rain.

Hard freezes are expected to start Sunday night and continue every night until Tuesday, January 16. The Hill Country and areas near and to the east of the Austin metro area may see below freezing temperatures for more than three days. Sub-zero wind chills are possible for the area, which pose a risk for hypothermia or frostbite for those not taking proper precautions, the NWS says.

Precuations include taking care of the four P’s: Pipes, people, plants, and pets.

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San Antonio Animal Care Services said in a release they will have a zero tolerance policy for pet owners violating city and state law if they lleave their pets outdoors in cold weather when the temperatures drop below 32 degrees. With the forecasted temperatures, any residents who “who do not provide adequate, humane shelter and/or use inappropriate tethers for their outdoor pets,” will recieve citations from patrolling Animal Care Officers.

They are also reminding folks that it is illegal to use chains as tethers for pets in San Antonio at any time in any weather. Residents can report violations to the city’s customer service representatives by calling 3-1-1, 210-207-6000,  or by using the 3-1-1 mobile app. 

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