January 31, 2023 Ice storm hits the South and central US (2023)

9:43 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

Ice storm warnings expanded to portions of western and central Texas for Wednesday

From CNN's Taylor Ward

The National Weather Service expanded the ice storm warnings across portions of western and central Texas.This includes areas around Midland as well as areas just west of Dallas, including Fort Worth.

The majority of these areas were under winter storm warnings today for a mix of freezing rain and sleet.The change to ice storm warnings is because the precipitation is expected to be almost exclusively freezing rain Wednesday and Wednesday night.

This round of precipitation is also expected to be the heaviest of the week. Locations across central Texas have received around half an inch to an inch of sleet and up to a quarter of an inch of freezing rain since Monday.

Areas under ice storm warnings are expected to receive up to, or even over half an inch of freezing rain in the next 36 hours.Half an inch of ice was reported on trees and power lines, which is enough to cause significant damage and power outages.

“Prepare for tree limb breakage and localized power outages in this region, in addition to hazardous or impossible travel conditions,” that National Weather Service in Dallas warned.

Much of central and eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and northwestern Mississippi continue to be under ice storm warnings as well.In total, nearly 8 million people are included in ice storm warnings.

Overall, more than 30 million people are under some sort of winter weather alert from New Mexico to Virginia.

8:52 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

School districts in western Tennessee and northwestern Mississippi announce closures for Wednesday

From CNN’s Joe Sutton and Jessica Jordan

A number of school districts across western Tennessee and northwestern Mississippi have announced schools will be closed on Wednesday as the area remains under an ice storm warning.

Here are the districts that have made closure announcements:

(Video) Massive ice storm slams south and central U.S.

  • Memphis Shelby County Schools (Tennessee)
  • Dyer County Schools ( Tennessee)
  • Lauderdale County Schools (Tennessee)
  • McNairy County Schools (Tennessee)
  • DeSoto County Schools (Mississippi)
  • Tate County School District (Mississippi)
  • Tunica County School District (Mississippi)
8:25 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

More than 1,000 flights have already been canceled for Wednesday

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

January 31, 2023 Ice storm hits the South and central US (1)

The ongoing ice storm and winter weather that’s impacting at least eight states from Texas to West Virginia will continue to impact travelers at US airports Wednesday.

As of Tuesday evening, FlightAware reports 1,042 flights have been canceled for Wednesday.

Southwest Airlines is experiencing the most cancellations as of now, according to FlightAware.

The airports that are experiencing the bulk of the cancellations are in Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth International, Dallas Love Field, and Austin-Bergstrom International.

According to FlightAware, approximately 1,947 flights were canceled within, into or out of the US as of Tuesday night.

7:01 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

Texas is the only state reporting power outages so far

Texas is the only state reporting outages at this time, as more than 40 million people in the central and southern US experience winter weather.

(Video) Deadly ice storms strike the South

According toPowerOutage.US, the state has 35,988 customers with no power.

6:42 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

Austin water company says it's operating normally and is prepared for winter weather

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

Austin Water is prepared for the ongoing winter weather threat in Texas, an official told CNN Tuesday, saying that systems are operating normally. Austin is currently under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.

“Austin Water is operating normally and has taken numerous steps to prepare for the winter weather event this week," spokesperson Emlea Chanslor said, adding the agency has completed all of its checks to increase "readiness for freezing temperatures and treacherous road conditions this week."

These measures have been "developed based on lessons learned from recent emergency events,” she said. Austin Water serves more than 1 million customers in the area, according to its website.

Austin and its water department faced challenges during the deadly winter storm in February 2021 with boil-water notices, broken pipes, and failing systems,CNN previously reported.

At one point during the storm in 2021, the city’s water supply lost 325 million gallons due to burst pipes,according to previous reporting.

These are some of the steps the company has taken to increase preparedness, according to Chanslor:

  • Winterization procedures have been completed at facilities.
  • Increased staff availability levels at facilities and contractors on standby to assist, if needed
  • In anticipation of treacherous road conditions, Austin Water has made arrangements to accommodate staff who may have to stay at facilities overnight.
8:04 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

Austin police have responded to about 215 collision calls so far today

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

(Video) Dangerous ice storm and arctic blast affects millions

The ongoing winter storm that's creating treacherous conditions across the state of Texas has led to at least 215 collision calls in the city of Austin, the police department said in atweet.

Austin is the state capital of Texas and remains under a winter storm warning.

The post has been updated with the latest information from the APD.

6:17 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

Texas sheriff's deputy in surgery after being pinned by truck that slid off the road

A deputy in Travis County, Texas, which includes the city of Austin, is recovering from surgery after being injured in a weather-related crash.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office said the deputy pulled over and got out of his car to help the driver of an 18-wheeler that went off the road just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. While he was helping the driver, another 18-wheeler truck slid and hit the deputy, pinning him under one of the tires, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

The deputy was in surgery as of Tuesday night and is expected to survive his injuries, the statement said.

“I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who responded and assisted this deputy in his time of dire need. Both his biological and TCSO family are relieved and thankful that he’s alive," Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said in the statement. "Please, please don’t drive on these icy roadways. It’s not worth your life or the lives of the first responders who are literally putting their personal safety on the line.”

Millions of people in several states are under winter weather alerts. Two people were killed in weather-related incidents in Texas as Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to stay home, saying about 1,600 roads will remain dangerous for the next 24 to 48 hours.

5:44 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

I-35 from Oklahoma to Texas is extremely hazardous and travel is discouraged, officials say

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

(Video) Massive ice storm blasting the South with freezing rain

Authorities in Oklahoma are advising motorists not to travel on I-35 due to hazardous conditions from the ongoing winter storm impacting the region.

“I-35 from Ardmore south to Texas is considered extremely slick and hazardous and travel is discouraged,” the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said in an afternoon update in a news release.

I-35 runs between Oklahoma City and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

A winter storm warning is in effect for areas of Oklahoma and an ice storm warning is active for parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

4:23 p.m. ET, January 31, 2023

I-10 shut down in Reeves County, Texas, after multi-vehicle pileup during ice storm

January 31, 2023 Ice storm hits the South and central US (2)

Vehicles were backed up at least 10 miles on I-10 eastbound in Reeves County, Texas, on Tuesday as the area was struck with severe winter weather.

Reeves County Director of Communications Daniel Alvarado went live onFacebookwith a warning.

“Drive the conditions, not the speed limit, during these winter weather conditions,” Alvarado said.

The video shows jackknifed semi-trucks on the roadway blocking both lanes of traffic, with multiple vehicles scattered in between. The pile-up spanned from mile markers 185 and 186, with both eastbound lanes closed. The footage shows the ground coated in frost.

Texas Department of Transportationworkers pretreated the area Monday in anticipation of heavy freezing fog and wet roads.

In the video, you can hear police sirens as emergency vehicles drive by on the clear side of the interstate.

(Video) Winter Weather Today; Ice Storm Hits Wednesday [Texas Weather Roundup for January 31, 2023]

Alvarado once again encouraged drivers to reduce their speed and avoid travel if possible.


When did ice storm hit Texas 2023? ›

A damaging ice storm swept across Central Texas beginning Jan. 30, plunging much of Austin into darkness for days after causing trees and power lines to fall. Statewide, more than 400,000 Texas electricity customers didn't have electricity at one point.

Where did the ice storm hit in Texas? ›

KUT Radio, Austin's NPR Station. An ice storm hit the Austin area the week of Jan. 30. Hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses lost power as ice-covered trees toppled power lines across the city.

When was the ice storm in Texas? ›

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The ice storm of late January and early February 2023 was the worst icing event in the region in more than 15 years. Camp Mabry, Austin's official weather reporting site, recorded 0.69″ of ice, enough to down trees areawide and plunge hundreds of thousands of Central Texans into the dark.

What year was the big ice storm? ›

From January 5-9, 1998, a meteorological disaster known as the Great Ice Storm of 1998 devastated northern New England, northern New York, and southern Canada.

Was the ice storm in Texas a federally declared disaster? ›

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a disaster declaration for Texas counties impacted by this week's ice storm that caused widespread property damage, hazardous travel disruptions, and localized power outages.

When was the biggest snow storm in Texas? ›

Hillsboro's 26-inch snowfall tally certified as all-time 24-hour snowfall record for the state of Texas!

How cold did it get in Texas during the ice storm? ›

In early February 2021, Winter Storm Uri hit Texas and crippled the state as temperatures dropped to as low as six degrees.

How cold was the deep freeze in Texas? ›

Dallas fell to minus 8 degrees on the morning of Feb. 12, 1899, setting its all-time record low that has now stood for 123 years. The city's high that afternoon was only 12 degrees.

What part of Texas was affected by the winter storm? ›

Travis County, which encompasses much of the Austin metropolitan area, was among the areas most affected by the outages, with more than 146,000 customers without power.

What year was the big ice storm in Dallas? ›

Worth. A major winter storm gripped most of North and Central Texas from December 5th through the 10th, 2013, severely impacting travel and power throughout the region.

Was Texas covered in ice during the ice age? ›

Glaciers and snow covered the northern United States and Canada during the Ice Age, but never Texas. The technical scientific name for the Ice Age is the Pleistocene Epoch and it lasted from 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago.

When was the first freeze in Texas? ›

LocationFirst FreezeColdest month on record, mean temp
AlpineNovember 1Jan 1949, 38.3
AmarilloOctober 24Dec 1983, 24.7
AustinDecember 2Jan 1940, 38.6
BeevilleDecember 3Jan 1989, 45.2
43 more rows

What was the worst ice storm USA? ›

January 1998 North American ice storm.

What was the worst ice storm in United States? ›

The Worst Ice Storm on Record (December 4-5, 1964)

Freezing rain caused ice accumulations of up to 1.5 inches and crippled east central New York. Many residents were without power for up to two weeks and schools had to be shut down for a week. Damage was estimates approached 5 million dollars.

What was the worst winter storm in US history? ›

It's hard to believe that this week marks the 132nd anniversary of New York's—and America's—worst blizzard on record. Few storms are as iconic as the “Blizzard of '88”. It was the deadliest, snowiest, and most unusual winter storm in American annals.

Is the Texas winter storm a qualified disaster loss? ›

Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on a 2020 return should put the Disaster Designation, "Texas – Severe Winter Storms," in bold letters at the top of the form. Be sure to include the disaster declaration number, FEMA 4586, on any return.

How many people froze to death in Texas storm? ›

The 246 deaths spanned 77 counties and included victims ranging from less than 1 year old to 102 years old, according to the report. Close to two-thirds of the deaths were due to hypothermia.

When was Texas declared a disaster area? ›

National. The President of the United States declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act. The President issued a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas under the Stafford Act on 3/25/2020.

What was the coldest winter in Texas history? ›

The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state occurred at Tulia in Swisher County in the extreme southern Texas Panhandle. The thermometer dropped to 23 degrees below zero.

What was the worst ice storm in Texas history? ›

A daily weather map from Dec. 31, 1978, of the North Texas ice storm. There have been many ice storms in Texas history. New Year's Eve 1978 was the worst ice storm in North Texas in three decades, producing ice accumulations up to 2 inches thick in a 100-mile-wide swath from just west of Waco to Paris, Texas.

When was the worst freeze in Texas? ›

The temperature was a chilling 23 degrees below zero on February 12, 1899, and years later Seminole, in Gaines County in west Texas also reported a temperature of 23 degrees below zero on February 8, 1933.

Can Texas freeze again? ›

Another Texas freeze and power outage in 2022? Unlikely. It is unlikely the state will see conditions as severe as the 2021 freeze that left hundreds of Texans dead and millions without power.

How often does it get below freezing in Texas? ›

Typically one or two nights a winter, have lows that drop down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Most frosty nights in Dallas are followed by daytime thaws. Only on one or two days a year, typically, does the day's high stay below freezing.

What is below freezing in Texas? ›

John Nielsen-Gammon, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M who has served as the state climatologist for nearly two decades, explained to the Texanist that a “hard freeze” occurs when the air temperature falls to 28 degrees or lower and then stays below 32 for long enough to freeze ...

Will Texas have a cold winter 2023? ›

The ball has dropped and the predictions are in. Most of Texas will be warmer than normal and nearly all of Texas will be drier than normal for the months of January, February and March in the Climate Prediction Center's seasonal outlook.

Do lakes in Texas ever freeze over? ›

Dangers of playing on ice

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — The record-breaking cold has brought frozen lakes, ponds and pools to Texas and although that may look fun to play on, it could be dangerous. Weather like this in East Texas is uncommon but the thickness of that ice likely is not strong enough to play on.

Did anyone freeze to death Texas? ›

The report indicated that about 65% of the deaths in Texas were caused by injuries related to extreme-cold exposure, 158 of which were from hypothermia and three of which were from frostbite.

Will Texas have another winter storm 2023? ›

Precipitation-wise, the Farmers' Almanac is predicting a stormy winter, especially for the eastern half of the country. January 2023 looks to be the stormiest for many areas including Texas and Oklahoma, where heavy snow is predicted during the first week.

Is Texas in for another rough winter? ›

Texans can expect the winter weather forecast to be warmer than normal and drier than normal, according to the National Weather Service. The NOAA released its three-month outlook from Dec. 2022 to Feb. 2023, and forecasts show a trend the Lone Star State has seen in recent years.

What caused Texas to get so cold? ›

These unusual winter conditions persisted in the Lone Star State because of a wobbly polar vortex, explains Iowa's state climatologist Justin Glisan. Polar vortex is a term that's been popularized in recent years and is often used to describe streams of escaping arctic air.

What was the biggest ice storm ever? ›

On January 31, 1951, the costliest ice storm on record devastated an area of more than 100 miles wide from Louisiana to West Virginia. Twenty-five people lost their lives and approximately 500 more were injured in storm-related accidents.

What was the worst winter weather in history? ›

The winter of 1880–1881 is widely considered the most severe winter ever known in many parts of the United States. The initial blizzard in October of 1880 brought snowfalls so deep that two-story homes experienced accumulations, as opposed to drifts, up to their second floor windows.

What are the worst winter storms in Dallas history? ›

The greatest snowfall on record at DFW occurred on February 11, 2010 (11.2 inches). The storm total at DFW for that event (Feb 11-12, 2010) was 12.5 inches. Many parts of the metroplex saw over 15 inches of snow. A snow day is a great day to be a husky.

When was the ice storm in Texas 2022? ›

During the night and morning of February 2, a second upper-level low began to form over Texas. Snow accumulations occurred in areas west of I-35 while areas east received freezing rain and sleet. This system also began to advance northeastward along the cold front.

When did the big freeze hit Texas? ›

Dallas saw freezing temperatures on February 9. They continued falling for a week, hitting 3 degrees on the 16th before inching above freezing three days later. In Houston, the deep freeze lasted only three days; in San Antonio it was a week.

What date was the freeze in Texas 2022? ›

Extremely cold air mass shifted over Texas on December 22, 2022, causing temperatures to plummet across the state. Much of Texas endured temperatures below freezing - in some cases well below freezing - for dozens of hours.

What kind of winter is predicted for 2023 in Texas? ›

The ball has dropped and the predictions are in. Most of Texas will be warmer than normal and nearly all of Texas will be drier than normal for the months of January, February and March in the Climate Prediction Center's seasonal outlook.


1. See cars slip and slide on icy bridge in Texas
2. 31 million under winter weather alerts
(NBC News)
3. One Person Dead After Multi-Vehicle Crash Due To Icy Conditions In Austin, TX
(FOX Weather)
4. Millions in path of freezing rain, thundersleet and icy roads l GMA
(ABC News)
5. At least 2 dead as ice storm grips Texas
(CBS Evening News)
6. Intense winter storm wreaks havoc across southern US, delays flights | USA TODAY
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