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) See cars slip and slide on icy bridge in Texas

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) DFW ice storm: What our reporters saw across North Texas on Tuesday, January 31

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


When did ice storm hit Texas 2023? ›

An iced-over pedestrian walkway is lined by trees that are covered with ice from a few days of sleet and rain Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in Dallas. An intense winter storm finally passed through Texas on Thursday, but residents will feel the impact of the storm for more time.

What is ice storm Short answer? ›

An ice storm is a winter weather event caused by significant accumulations of freezing rain on exposed surfaces – buildings, houses, cars, trees, roadways, etc.

Where did the ice storm hit in Texas? ›

The deadly ice storm crippling much of the South leaves more than 300,000 Texans without power in the frigid cold. Lake Cliff Park in Dallas is covered with ice and snow Tuesday.

What are 3 effects of an ice storm? ›

Heavy accumulations of ice can bring down trees and topple utility poles and communication towers. Ice can disrupt communications and power for days while utility companies repair extensive damage. Even small accumulations of ice can be extremely dangerous to motorists and pedestrians.

How long do ice storms last? ›

Ice Storms and Their Impacts Can Last For Days

Depending on the severity of the ice storm and the weather pattern, impacts can persist for days. If more than a half-inch of ice occurs and damage is widespread, it can take quite a while to remove trees and repair power lines.

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 do you survive an ice storm? ›

Tips To Staying Safe And Warm During Ice Storm Recovery
  1. Stay inside and dress in warm, layered clothing.
  2. Close off unneeded rooms.
  3. When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards and be sure to properly ventilate.
  4. Stuff towels and rags underneath doors to keep the heat in.

How rare are ice storms? ›

Major ice storms are catastrophic dangers. This is especially true for those storms that are followed by gusty winds. Fortunately, these ice storms are rare in any given location, and occur 0-2 times per generation in any one spot.

How do you stay safe during an ice storm? ›

Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

When was the last hard freeze in Texas? ›

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

What was the coldest temper in Texas? ›

Some of the coldest weather to ever hit Texas occurred on February 12th of that year. 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.

Did Texas ever have glaciers? ›

In North America, glaciers covered all of present-day Canada and the northern United States. Due to the warmer temperatures, glaciers never covered Texas.

What is considered a lot of ice in a storm? ›

A quarter inch of ice will glaze roads and seriously impact travel, result in some tree damage, and cause power outages. However, when ice accumulates to one half inch or more the major and crippling effects of ice storms occur.

During which two months do ice storms occur most often? ›

11 Facts About Ice Storms
  • Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. ...
  • Ice accumulates when super-cold rain freezes on contact with surfaces that are below freezing point. ...
  • Throughout the US, ice storms occur most often during the months of December and January.

How cold would a new ice age be? ›

Scientists have predicted that the global ice age temperature was around 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 degrees Celsius), on average. However, the polar regions were far colder, around 25 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degree Celsius) colder than the global average.

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.

How cold can an ice age get? ›

The latest ice age peaked about 20,000 years ago, when global temperatures were likely about 10°F (5°C) colder than today. At the Pleistocene Ice Age's peak, massive ice sheets stretched over North America and Eurasia.

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.

What month was the big freeze in Texas? ›

DALLAS – Texans don't need a reminder that the Great Texas Freeze from Feb. 10-20, 2021, was extremely cold, but they weren't alive to experience one of the coldest outbreaks to ever invade the Plains in February 1899.

Has it ever snowed in June in Texas? ›

According to the NCEI, Houston set a record with its first ever 'snowfall' on June 29 despite temperatures reaching the 90s. Although it did not technically snow, the NCEI site recorded hail which is documented through a snow variable.

What do you eat during an ice storm? ›

High-protein and non-perishable foods

Those include foods like energy bars and protein and fruit bars that don't need to be refrigerated or frozen, Sands said. Dry cereal, granola, peanut butter, dried fruit and non-perishable pasteurized milk are also good to have as you hunker down.

Can human survive in ice age? ›

Yes, people just like us lived through the ice age. Since our species, Homo sapiens, emerged about 300,000 years ago in Africa, we have spread around the world. During the ice age, some populations remained in Africa and did not experience the full effects of the cold.

What do you do in a car during an ice storm? ›

Stay in the vehicle!
  1. If you leave your vehicle, you will become disoriented quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.
  2. Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
  3. While running the motor, open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  4. Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning.

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.

Does ice 7 exist on earth? ›

In 2018, ice VII was identified among inclusions found in natural diamonds. Due to this demonstration that ice VII exists in nature, the International Mineralogical Association duly classified ice VII as a distinct mineral.

What are the worst ice storms on record? ›

The North American ice storm of January 1961 was a massive ice storm that struck areas of the Idaho Panhandle in the United States on January 1–3, 1961. The storm set a record for thickest recorded ice accumulation from a single storm in the United States, at eight inches.

How long does it take for ice to be safe to walk on? ›

As a general rule of thumb, ice is safe to walk on when there is 4 inches or more of clear ice. It is important to understand that different types of ice varying in their strength. Clear blue or black ice is the strongest. This ice is formed from the lake water freezing.

Should you put salt down before an ice storm? ›

Clear all snow from driveways and sidewalks before it turns to ice. Salt should only be used after the snow is removed and only in areas needed for safety.

Does it help to put salt down before an ice storm? ›

The best time to treat the ground is before snowfall begins. Treating areas before snow (and freezing rain/ice) begins can help prevent ice from forming and prevent snow from settling. Because salt has a lower freezing point than water, it reduces the opportunities for moisture to freeze on treated surfaces.

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.

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.

What year was the coldest 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.

Where is the coldest city in Texas? ›

Amarillo is undoubtedly the coldest (big) city in Texas. The coldest temperature on record is -12 back in 1986. However, just two years ago we came close to tying this dubious record with a low of -11 on Feb. 15, 2021,” said KAMR chief meteorologist John Harris.

Which state has the longest winter? ›

Alaska has the coldest winters, the coldest summers, the longest winter, the most freezing degree days, etc.

What was the coldest Christmas in Texas? ›

Camp Mabry. On the opposite end, 1983 takes the top spot as coldest Christmas in history. On Christmas Eve in 1983, the high temperature was just 23°, while the low dropped to a bone-chilling 12°.

When was Texas underwater? ›

Back when these life-forms were alive—265 million years ago or so—the Guadalupe Mountains were underwater, part of a flourishing reef that once stretched about 400 miles around the edge of a long-vanished sea. Reefs are a fascinating fusion of biology and geology.

Which US state has the most glaciers? ›

Most U.S. glaciers are in Alaska; others can be found in Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada (Wheeler Peak Glacier in Great Basin National Park).

How far south did the glaciers go in the United States? ›

The Ice Age produced glaciers that spread across North America and parts of northern Europe. In North America, glaciers spread from the Hudson Bay area, covering most of Canada and going as far south as Illinois and Missouri. Glaciers also existed in the Southern Hemisphere in Antarctica.

How many pounds can 5 inches of ice hold? ›

At 4” the ice is suitable for ice fishing, cross-country skiing and walking and can support about 200 pounds. At 5 inches of new clear ice should be enough to hold a single snowmobile or ATV or about 800 pounds. At 8-12 inches the ice should be suitable for a small car or a larger group of people.

Can you fall through 8 inches of ice? ›

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

4 inches thick It should be ok to stand, skate, and ice fish on the surface. 5 inches or greater The ice should be able to withstand most snowmobiles. 8 and 12 inches The ice should be able to withstand the weight of a small to medium sized car.

At what temperature is ice not slippery? ›

Thus, ice is most slippery when temperatures are near freezing (26-32F) and is much less slippery when temperatures reach the single digits and below.

What should I buy for an ice storm? ›

How to Stock a Pantry for Winter Weather
  • Bottled water (at least one gallon per person per day, for at least three days)
  • Canned goods, especially cozy, warming foods like soups and stews.
  • Snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies in sealed packages.
  • Cereal and granola.
  • Anything jarred, from jellies to pickles to meats.

How do I prepare my house for freezing temperature? ›

Tightly close doors and windows to the outside. Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and close garage doors for the duration of the freeze.

Can planes take off in ice storm? ›

Just because there is winter weather outside, it doesn't mean that planes will suddenly stop flying. As we've discussed above, snow, ice, and bad weather do not hinder a flight. It remains safe to fly as long as precautious and pilot training are both up to date.

When was the worst ice storm? ›

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.

How rare is an ice storm? ›

Major ice storms are catastrophic dangers. This is especially true for those storms that are followed by gusty winds. Fortunately, these ice storms are rare in any given location, and occur 0-2 times per generation in any one spot.

When did the ice storm hit Texas? ›

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

What was the date of the ice storm in Texas? ›

The recovery cost the City of Austin nearly $1.6 million in crews and overtime. Finally, who could forget the Feb. 11 through Feb. 18, 2021 massive winter storm, sometimes known as "Snow-Vid"?

When did the freeze storm happen in Texas? ›

The historic cold snap and winter storm from Feb. 10-19 brought a gridlock of multiday societal impacts from road closures, power outages, loss of heat and busted pipes Here are seven facts from the Great Texas Freeze.

When was the ice storm in Texas 2022? ›

Overview. 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 was the worst ice storm in Dallas history? ›

30–31, 1978: Ice Storm. North Central Texas. Possibly the worst ice storm in 30 years hit Dallas County particularly hard. Damage estimates reached $14 million, and six deaths were storm-related.

How cold is Texas in winter? ›

How Cold Does It Get in Texas? The lowest ever recorded temperature in Texas was -8°F in 1899. Don't let that give you the wrong impression, though. Texas has an average cold temperature of 45°F.

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

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties in the state.

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.

Will 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.

What was the coldest winter in Texas? ›

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.

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.

What was the coldest day in Texas 2022? ›

The coldest air of the season invaded Texas on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022.

What states were affected by the winter storm 2022? ›

Areas which experienced blizzard conditions included parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Ontario, with the Buffalo area of New York and the Fort Erie and Kingston areas of Ontario experiencing almost two full days of blizzard/zero-visibility conditions on December 23 and 24.


1. Winter Weather Today; Ice Storm Hits Wednesday [Texas Weather Roundup for January 31, 2023]
(Texas Storm Chasers)
2. Millions in path of freezing rain, thundersleet and icy roads l GMA
(ABC News)
3. At least 2 dead as ice storm grips Texas
(CBS Evening News)
4. One Person Dead After Multi-Vehicle Crash Due To Icy Conditions In Austin, TX
(FOX Weather)
5. Massive ice storm blasting the South with freezing rain
(NBC News)
6. 31 million under winter weather alerts
(NBC News)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated: 01/19/2023

Views: 6114

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.