By Public Radio Staff
West Texas communities are hunkering dow n today as a snowstorm is expected to continue dropping several inches of snow in some areas. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the region and expects the storm to last until Thursday evening.
Jan. 6:03 a.m.: In parts of West Texas, snow and ice-covered roads will remain a concern today, as road crews continue to treat highways and overpasses. Officials are encouraging drivers to be extra cautious this morning and to avoid traveling altogether if possible. If you must get on the road, visit the Texas Department of Transportation’s drivetexas.org for updates and road conditions. You can also call 1-800-452-9292.
Jan 1, 6:00 a.m.: Expect slightly warmer conditions today throughout West Texas. The National Weather Service forecasts a cold start to the morning but by the afternoon, New Year’s Day temperatures will hold steady in the 30s and 40s.
Jan 1, 5:32 a.m.: The heaviest snow accumulation overnight fell in the northeast corner of Permian Basin, along I20 from Stanton to Colorado City.
Heavy snowfall was reported along I-20 between Stanton and Colorado City today, and road conditions remain bad. Here is a current look at the heavy traffic heading eastbound on I-20 near Stanton. Please avoid the area if you can! #txwx pic.twitter.com/y2XzmAbYc3— NWS Midland (@NWSMidland) January 1, 2021
Jan. 1, 5:22 a.m.: A dense layer of fog has fallen over the Pecos River Valley this morning, according to the National Weather Service.
2:40 p.m.: Snow is beginning to melt throughout West Texas, leaving behind slushy roads. With below-freezing temperatures expected tonight, weather authorities expect snow that’s melted to freeze again overnight, creating dangerous road conditions.
2:27 p.m.: The 24 inches of snow that have fallen so far at the Panther Junction Headquarters in Big Bend National Park is nearly double the previous record, according to historical data from the National Weather Service.
The previous record was set in January 1986 when 13 inches of snow fell.
2:08 p.m.: Road closures in and out of Marfa — Highways 17, 67, and 90 have reopened to traffic, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
1:13 p.m.: At the Panther Junction headquarters in Big Bend National Park, the National Weather Service says two feet of snow have fallen so far.
LSR: Panther Junction [Brewster Co, TX] park/forest srvc reports HEAVY SNOW of E24.0 INCH at 11:00 AM CST (sn… https://t.co/VTWfvvmIby— NWS Midland (@NWSMidland) December 31, 2020
12:26 p.m.: This winter storm barreling down on Far West Texas could approach record snowfalls. Here are the largest snow totals for our area, according to the National Weather Service.
Alpine: 19” Jan. 1946
Valentine: 8.5” Dec. 2009
For Davis: 9.6” Dec. 2009
Presidio:12” Dec. 1927
12:12 p.m.: Highway 67 from Marfa to Presidio has reopened, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
11:26 a.m.: For motorists stranded by the winter storm, the two gyms at Marfa Independent School District remain open. In Valentine, the community center is also available for travelers, and along I-10, the Van Horn Community Center is open.
10:55 a.m.: The Texas Department of Transportation says road crews have cleared snow and ice on Highway 90 from Van Horn to Marfa and have reopened the road to traffic.
10:34 a.m.: The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office tells Marfa Public Radio that Highway 17 from Marfa to Fort Davis is now closed, meaning all roads leading out of Marfa are closed to travel.
10:15 a.m.: The Texas Department of Transportation has now closed the stretch of Highway 90 from Van Horn to Marfa, citing icy conditions.
Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo also says there’s now black ice on I-10, causing additional closures. Eastbound traffic along the highway is at a standstill, Sheriff Carrillo said on Facebook.
10:08 a.m.: As of this morning, Balmorhea has seen at least 6 inches of snow, according to media reports.
9:57 a.m.: This morning, around 100 people are waiting for road conditions to clear so they can get on the roads to Presidio and Alpine. Highways 67 and 90 were closed Wednesday night as a winter storm intensified, leaving roads icy and covered in snow.
This morning, around 100 people are waiting for road conditions to clear so they can get on the roads to Presidio and Alpine. #txwx— Marfa Public Radio (@MarfaRadio) December 31, 2020
Highways 67 and 90 were closed Wednesday night as a winter storm intensified, leaving roads icy and covered in snow. https://t.co/3KHPsKsUSd pic.twitter.com/FNwLZJgSaz
9:06 a.m.: All of the roads in Big Bend National Park are impassable this morning, according to park officials. The 800,000-acre park received between 12 and 24 inches of snow overnight and it’s continuing to fall.
Park officials are urging the public to “not attempt to enter the park.”
8:16 a.m.: TxDOT posted a photo I-10 at Fort Stockton covered in snow. More snow is expected throughout the day.
Live shot of IH-10 at Fort Stockton 8:11 am. pic.twitter.com/EA2EFDRh8e— TxDOT San Angelo (@TxDOTSanAngelo) December 31, 2020
8:09 a.m.: Brewster County Commissioner Sara Allen Colando shared a photo on Twitter showing 8 inches of snow accumulation in the Terlingua area.
7:59 a.m.: I-10 in Pecos County has reopened, but traffic is backed up and stalled because of the ice and snow, according to the Department of Public Safety.
7:10 a.m.: The National Weather Service’s Midland office is forecasting below-normal temperatures tonight, with heavy snow tapering off.
7:10 a.m.: Citing local reporting, NWS meteorologist Rick Hluchan says some areas around Alpine have already seen 10 inches of snow.
7:00 a.m.: The Paisano Pass between Marfa and Alpine remains closed this morning. The Texas Department of Transportation says the road is icy and dangerous. Highway 67, from Marfa to Presidio is also closed.
The road was closed Wednesday night and left dozens of families stranded in the Marfa area.
6:53 a.m., CST: The Midland-Odessa area got a “dusting” of snow, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. But that could change later Thursday. The current forecast is still calling for 4 to 7 inches of snow in parts of the Permian, the Big Bend region and the Trans Pecos.