Winter Storm Covers West Texas In Snow, Causes Roads To Ice Over

By Mitch Borden and Sally Beauvais

West Texans in El Paso, the Big Bend, and up in the Permian Basin and Panhandle woke up to the unusual sight of snow this morning. School districts are closed their doors Wednesday for a rare snow day, and icy conditions have some schools delaying the start of classes Thursday.

A northern cold front descended on the area Wednesday causing the most snowfall the region’s seen in the last five years. Iced over roads and winter conditions have made driving dangerous and the National Weather Service is urging locals to limit their travel.

(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Rick Hluchan with the National Weather service in Midland, says the most significant snowfall is in the Permian Basin.

“Locally, around Midland Odessa, we’re seeing a general 5 to 8 inches,” says Hluchan. “As we head to the northeast we’ve got some higher totals, even some 8 to 10, from Big Spring to Snyder.”

Snow totals around the Big Bend region were hovering around an inch as of Wednesday morning, with the Davis Mountains seeing the highest accumulations.





Road Impacts

The Texas Department of Transportation is again urging people to stay off the roads in and around the Permian Basin Thursday morning if possible. The Odessa TxDOT office warns that driving conditions around the region may be more dangerous now than they were Wednesday when more than 6 inches of snow fell across Odessa and Midland. Because of low freezing temperatures overnight, the roads Thursday morning are icy — and that ice can be hard for drivers to see.

That applies to the I-10 corridor and north into the Permian Basin.
TxDOT treated roads overnight, and suggests avoiding driving until mid-day Thursday, once the temperatures increase enough to thaw the roads.

Roads are generally in better condition in the Big Bend region South of I-10 and down to the border. But TxDOT is still advising drivers to use extra caution on the roads; hard-to-spot patches of ice and snow are possible on highways around the area. TxDOT is reporting ice conditions along parts of Highway 67 in Presidio. 

You can find up-to-date highway conditions here, courtesy of TxDOT.



(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Raido)

School Closures

Following the region’s first significant snowfall since 2015, several school districts have either delayed the start of school Thursday or canceled classes altogether. If you’d like to report a late start or closure in the area, please contact info@marfapublicradio.org

Alpine ISD
Students at Alpine ISD will have a regular start time on Thursday.

Alpine Montessori
Alpine Montessori opens Thursday at their usual time. However, on Facebook the school encouraged parents and students to “consider coming in late” if their route to school is iced over.


Andrews ISD
Andrews ISD will have a 10 a.m. delayed start Thursday. Buses are on a 2-hour delay.

Balmorhea ISD
Classes at Balmorhea ISD resume their regular schedule Thursday.

Crane ISD
The district will have a delayed start on Thursday February 6th at 10 a.m. No buses will run. You can check the district’s Facebook page for any update.

Culberson County-Allamore ISD
On Thursday, classes CC-AISD will start at 9 a.m. Buses will begin their routes around 8 a.m.

Glasscock ISD
Glasscock County ISD will have a delayed start at 10 a.m on Thursday, February 6. Regular buses will run, but there will be no morning athletic buses.

Ector County ISD
Classes at Ector County ISD are cancelled for Thursday. The district has all cancelled all athletics and other scheduled events too. According to the district’s Facebook page, the missed school days will be made up on Feb 17 and April 24.

Fort Davis ISD
Classes at Fort Davis will resume their regular schedules on Thursday.

Fort Stockton ISD 
The district will have a delayed start on Thursday, February 6 at 10 a.m. You can check the district’s Facebook page for any update.

Marfa ISD
On Thursday, Marfa ISD will start classes at 10 a.m. Buses will be on a two-hour delay. The district released students early on Wednesday.

Midland ISD
All Midland ISD campuses and facilities will be closed Thursday.

Monahans ISD
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD will have a delayed start at 10 a.m on Thursday February 6. Buses will run at 9 a.m.


Marathon ISD
The district will have a late start on Thursday morning, February 6th, at 10 a.m.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
The district will have a delayed start on Thursday at 10 a.m. Buses will run on a delayed schedule. The district’s campuses will open at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to begin receiving students.

Valentine ISD
Valentine ISD will begin classes Thursday at their regular start time.



About Mitch Borden

Mitch Borden is Marfa Public Radio's Permian Basin Reporter. If you have any questions about West Texas' energy industry or the Permian Basin email him at mitch@marfapublicradio.org.
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