The same storm system burying parts of the Four Corners states with snow will bring ice and treacherous travel to the South Central states early this week.
As colder air plunges southward and a piece of the storm system moves through, ice will expand eastward across Texas, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and northern Louisiana through Monday night.
The ice will even graze northern Alabama during this time.
Rain will even begin to freeze on some surfaces southward to Austin, Texas, and the Hill Country northwest of San Antonio, Texas.
During Monday night, the ice and spotty snow will spread to Alexandria, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
“Only a cold rain is in store for Houston,” stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. The same can be said for the entire western Gulf Coast.
Within the ice zone, there will be both freezing rain and sleet. Both will cause travel to become treacherous, including on stretches of I-20, I-30, I-35, I-45 and I-55. The Texas corridor of I-10 from west of San Antonio to Fort Stockton could also become slick.
There will tend to be more sleet than freezing rain along the northern fringe of the ice zone. Snow will even mix in along the far north, including in Lubbock and Wichita Falls, Texas, and Little Rock. The storm will be an all-snow event in the northern Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma City.
Freezing rain or drizzle will be more of an issue across the south, potentially resulting in sporadic power outages.
“With deeper cold air in place, there will be mostly sleet around Dallas,” added Nicholls. “While that will lessen the threat for power outages, there will be travel problems.”
Airline passengers throughout the South Central states should prepare for flight delays and cancelations.
The cold leading to the ice will hold Monday’s high temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below normal throughout the South Central states. The highs will even fall short of the day’s typical lows.
Temperatures will rebound at midweek as dry weather returns. However, more cold and wintry weather will arrive later in the week.