MIDLAND TX — The Permian Basin was expected to have arctic weather and freezing temperature to roll through last night but, to my own surprise, it was true! Who would have thought yesterday when it was mid 70 degrees that it would really happen? According to mywesttexas.com and the National Weather Service, the Midland area isn’t expected to warm up past freezing temperatures until Friday morning.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Pat Vesper said what is uncommon is that it will be colder in the area than normal with a wind chill forcasted for five to 10 degrees below zero tonight. A 20 percent chance of snow is also predicted for Wednesday and Thursday, according to NWS. Temperatures are expected to gradually climb back up to normal by Friday afternoon with highs near 50.
A good rule of thumb is to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Eric Johnson, city of Midland’s Assistant Transportation Manager, knows this saying well. Yesterday city crews filled trucks with sand and gravel that could be used on city bridges and two water trucks were filled with brine water to help de-ice the roadways. “Everything we do is precautionary. If there is some sort of expectation of snow, we want to be ready,” he said.
Here are a few tips to be safe during this cold front:
- Check any local news channel to get updated information about MISD closing or delays. If MISD closes, because so many of the college’s employees and students have children, Midland College will also cancel classes.
- Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and avoid overpasses that could be potentially dangerous situations.
- Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the care in front of you.
- Break gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels lock up, ease off the brake. Avoid the use cruise control and keep your lights and windshield clean and clear.
- Authorities are also anticipating with the cold weather is the danger of an increase of fires from space heaters. So when using a space heater to supplement other heat sources in the house, make sure there is adequate clearance area and that heaters near children are under direct supervision.
Just remember to stay warm and safe these next few days, we like you around.