AUSTIN (KXAN) — While the freezing rain, sleet, snow mix expected early Tuesday may cause more disruption than the Austin metro area has seen from a winter storm in several years, it likely won’t be one for the record books.
The approaching system has the potential to be the most impactful in seven years, creating just enough icing Tuesday morning to create dangerous driving conditions on many roads, not just a few bridges and flyovers.
In this scenario, the storm will potentially shut down schools, businesses and government offices. The last system to do so on a widespread basis was on Feb. 4, 2011, when 1-2 inches of ice and snow turned what would have been a typical Friday into a holiday for most area residents. According to ERCOT records, 52,927 MW of power was used during the 10 a.m. hour that day.
The approaching system will not be nearly as impactful as a three-day ice storm Jan. 15-17, 2007. Freezing rain began early on the 15th, quickly accumulating, breaking tree limbs and icing over most area roads. Hundreds of car accidents were reported and EMS responded to dozens of reports of ice-related falls.
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The storm continued to produce periods of freezing rain, sleet and snow for two more days, keeping much of Central Texas closed down. Temperatures remained below freezing for 61 straight hours, while 6,000 Austin-area households lost power. Schools and businesses reopened for business on the 18th.
Stay tuned to KXAN and KXAN.com for the latest weather updates with this winter storm.