A cold snap that left some parts of Bexar County and San Antonio without power and heat — and glazed in ice — will fade away as temperatures rise and sunshine returns before the weekend.
The National Weather Service reported temperatures will warm 10 or 20 degrees depending on location as the day progresses on Thursday.
San Antonio should feel the thaw first, followed by the Hill Country a few hours later. The rain departs the region by noon Thursday.
The warming trend has a brief setback in San Antonio early Saturday morning with the return of freezing temperatures. But highs on Sunday and Monday will be just above or below 70.
CPS reported more progress made restoring power as workers cleared tree branches that snapped from the weight of ice and brought down power lines. The early morning blackouts affected thousands of people and lasted for most of Wednesday.
Forecaster Andrew Quigley said most of the reports of ice accumulation in northern Bexar County were around a tenth of an inch or lower. “We’ve had some reports of freezing rain in Live Oak … over to Helotes and then kind of going up to Hollywood Park, so that’s kind of been where the reports have stayed,” he said.
He said except for northern Bexar County, the rest of San Antonio has been spared so far. The forecast said that is likely the same scenario ahead.
Quigley said residents in northern Bexar need to brace for another night of freezing rain before a warming trend arrives on Thursday.
“Once we get to the mid-morning hours tomorrow, and for sure by the lunch hour, we’re going to be comfortably above freezing and into the 40s. so the icing will be completely out of our hair by that point with no sub-freezing temperatures forecasted beyond that,” he explained.
Areas of drizzle/freezing drizzle will continue off and on through this evening. Tonight, more batches of light to moderate rain & freezing rain are expected. Can see the light at the end of the tunnel as temps rise above freezing areawide after 9am tomorrow. 60s & 70s by Mon. pic.twitter.com/rL99G9BzYb
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) February 1, 2023
Austin faced headaches of its own, with thousands of customers without power. Austin Energy also blamed ice coated tree branches striking power lines. KUT reported that experts said the power grid was holding up, though it was not facing the same demands as it did during the 2021 winter storm.
Quigley said the biggest regional ice impacts so far and ahead remain focused on the Hill County and Austin, where ice had formed on many roads, bridges, and overpasses.
Some motorists were left briefly stranded on the iced-over bridge over Inks Lake on Highway 29, between Burnet and Llano. The Llano Sheriff’s Department reported a vehicle slid into a guardrail, but there were no injuries.
The Johnson City-based Pedernales Electric Cooperative reported power was out to thousands of meters in the Hill Country counties it served. Fredericksburg-based Central Texas Electric Cooperative reported power out to hundreds of its customers. CTEC reported in some cases crews had to walk along power lines in remote areas to find the problem.
(4:30 PM) We thank our community for their patience as our crews work to safely resolve weather-related outages.
CPS Energy is aware of extended outages in the Tanglewood, Stone Oak & Braun’s Farm communities & crews, including tree-trimming, are onsite working to restore power. pic.twitter.com/oBb64yRObp
— CPS Energy (@cpsenergy) February 1, 2023
Most schools and colleges in the Hill Country and Bexar were closed again Wednesday, including every school district in Bexar County.
Trinity University and Our Lady of the Lake University will be remote through 12 p.m. Wednesday, and the Alamo Colleges will be remote through 10 a.m. Thursday. A&M-San Antonio also remained closed Wednesday, with remote classes offered where possible. UTSA and The University of the Incarnate Word were remote on Wednesday.
Also closed on Wednesday: Boerne ISD, Comal ISD, New Braunfels ISD, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, Northside ISD, North East ISD, San Antonio ISD, Judson ISD, Southwest ISD, East Central ISD, Harlandale ISD, Edgewood ISD, South San Antonio ISD, Alamo Heights ISD, Southside ISD, Somerset ISD, Fort Sam Houston ISD, Randolph Field ISD, Lackland ISD, Floresville ISD, La Vernia ISD, Medina Valley ISD, Pre-K 4 SA, KIPP Texas-San Antonio, and New Frontiers Public Schools.
By Wednesday afternoon, several school districts and colleges had shared their plans for the rest of the week with staff, parents and students. Some Bexar County school districts, including SAISD and Judson, planned to reopen on Thursday. Boerne ISD planned to start later in the day on Thursday.
San Antonio open
City of San Antonio offices remained open on Wednesday.
Solid Waste Management and VIA Metropolitan Transit planned to remain fully operational on Wednesday.
Some bus routes north of 1604 may be detoured or delayed. See any schedule adjustments and details at VIAinfo.net.
The 3-1-1 call number will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bexar County offices closed on Wednesday but planned to reopen on Thursday.
Bexar County will resume normal hours of operations tomorrow, February 2, 2023. We encourage all employees and visitors to please plan accordingly for their commute in the morning and allow for extra time on the roadways. pic.twitter.com/pImKAFwnZL
— Bexar County, Texas (@BexarCounty) February 1, 2023
Bonnie Petrie and Jack Morgan contributed to this report.