HOUSTON - When it snows in this area, it's a big deal. When it snows twice in one season, it's nothing short of amazing. In fact (including this winter) that's only happened six times since the 19th century. But to experience three snows in one winter? Well, there are superlatives, and then there are life memories! It's only happened once -- in 1973 -- and unless you're well over 50yo, you probably don't remember it. But, it could happen again on Tuesday.
Our forecasting tools have been consistently signaling that we'll have ample moisture to produce rainfall Monday night and Tuesday. This, combined with arctic air spilling south into our region behind a cold front would result in the rain changing to snow. It may also happen during the daytime hours, offering great picture-taking opportunities. While the snow wouldn't likely amount to much, a dusting to an inch would not be out of the question on the grassy or elevated surfaces. As temperatures dip toward freezing Tuesday afternoon, bridges, overpasses and ramps would become icy if left untreated. Because of this prospect TX DOT is treating roads today with a brine-like chemical in anticipating of what's possible in four days. (The fact that they're doing this four days ahead of time is impressive in itself, but not necessarily indicative of the expected severity of the upcoming wintry weather. There are likely TXDOT personnel staffing considerations considering the impending weekend and MLK Day holiday on Monday.)
It's important to disclaim that this may not happen at all. Statistically, we've established that it's incredibly unlikely. Meteorologically, it's tough feat to accurately forecast exact precipitation type four days out, especially when it's unusual for this area. These forecasts are also tough for school districts who sometimes have to decide *before* it starts snowing whether or not to cancel. A missed forecast can lead to lots of angry parents seeking childcare and ISD's trying to figure out how to make up the lost time. On the flip side, no one wants to get stuck at school if the roads deteriorate beyond what's considered, 'safe.'
Stay with us through the weekend, until we get closer to the event!
© 2018 KHOU-TV