Prepare for arctic air mass coming this weekend

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National Weather Service in San Angelo predicting lows in the teens

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The National Weather Service in San Angelo is predicting a strong arctic air mass to roll into Crockett County and the Concho Valley over the Valentine's Day/Presidents' Day weekend.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the NWS stated that the air mass is coming in waves with it expected to hit Crockett County late Wednesday into Thursday.

"This is the coldest stretch have seen in years. Record lows are likely to be shattered Sunday and Monday. High temperatures staying well below freezing area wide. Some snow possible," the NWS posted on their Facebook page.

Here is the predicted forecast through Monday:

Tonight

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Northeast wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday

Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. North northeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night

A 20 percent chance of snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday

A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Saturday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Northeast wind around 15 mph.

Sunday

A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before noon. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 25. East northeast wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday Night

A chance of snow and sleet before midnight, then snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. North northeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Washington's Birthday

A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 31.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 15.

Tuesday

Sunny, with a high near 48.


TIPS FOR COLD WEATHER:

Don't leave pets outside.

Livestock may need some extra care.

Make sure heaters are in good, working order.

• Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas

of the home.

• Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside

faucets with Styrofoam cover, or rags.

• Cover vents around the foundation of your home.

• Know where your property owner’s cut-off valve is located and

how to use it.

• Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

• In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from

inside faucets.

• Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the

past.

• Don't drive during freezing temperatures after rain or snowmelt.

Slow down. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.

Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.

Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows.

Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.

If your vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction. Then straighten your vehicle.

• Check road conditions before traveling - drivetexas.org or 1-800-452-9292

For roadside assistance call 1-800-525-5555

Customers who are on life support systems or other medical equipment that requires electricity, are encouraged to make alternate arrangements in case of extended power outages.

AEP Texas also recommends customers prepare an emergency outage kit with items like flashlights, batteries, radios, candles, matches, drinking water, camp stoves, sleeping bags and non-perishable food items.

During and immediately after the storm, customers are asked to call the AEP Customer Operations Center only to report downed power lines and other situations that could pose a safety threat.  To report a fallen power line or utility pole, call 1-866-223-8508. 

All power lines should be considered energized and dangerous.  Although a downed line may look harmless, it could be carrying electricity. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water. Because of the likelihood that the storm will cause many lines to fall, customers are asked to keep their children and pets inside during and after the storm.

Unplug or turn off washers, dryers and other major appliances and electronic equipment like televisions, VCRs and computers. Turn them on one at a time when power is restored.

If you use a portable generator, DO NOT plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “back-feed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Plug appliances directly into the generator.  Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Most, if not all, require that backup generators be located outside the home and away from open windows in order to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold air inside. Check out sources of ice or dry ice, if needed. Food should stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, 24 hours in a half-full freezer – if you keep the door closed.

Be extremely careful when using any alternate forms of heating, cooling, cooking and lighting.

Stay tuned to local news media for updates on the storm situation and recovery progress. Updates also will be posted on aeptexas.com. and social media.

- Information provided by The National Weather Service in San Angelo, Crockett County Water Improvement District #1, TxDOT and AEP Texas