Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the US on Sunday, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast, where snow and sleet were expected overnight.
“Typically, we just don’t have quite this much cold air in place that far south,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
The storm has prompted officials in Houston, where temperatures were in the 70s (20s Celsius) earlier this week, to advise residents to prepare for power outages and hazardous roads that could be similar to those experienced in the wake of a Category 5 hurricane.
As rain fell Sunday in the Houston area, the temperature hovered near freezing. “This rain will be transitioning over to just freezing rain, sleet and snow during the overnight through early morning hours tomorrow,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Lichter.