Amarillo and Texas Panhandle were among areas to receive sizeable amounts of snowfall Tuesday following a winter weather storm system passing through the area, with potential for more snow throughout the day leading into Wednesday. Officials warned travelers of the possibility for icy road conditions and weather being hazardous Wednesday morning.
As reported by the National Weather Service of Amarillo office (NWSA), the city from Monday night to around 11 a.m. Tuesday had received a total of 2.4 inches of snow since the event started, with reports of 4.5 inches in areas leading toward Canyon and Bushland.
"We are currently watching two areas of snow right now, the southeast Texas Panhandle including Clarendon along the east ridge toward the Oklahoma state line. ... We've had reports of about 4 to 8 inches that have already occurred. We are watching a secondary rate of snow developing in the northwest Texas Panhandle currently around Channing to Strafford that should move through Amarillo throughout the day today, and potentially lead to another insurge (incoming surge) of snow before we are all said and done," NWSA Lead Meteorologist Luigi Meccariello said.
Meccariello added that the area is expected to continue to see some snow flurries throughout the day Tuesday into the evening around 8 p.m. Overnight, temperatures are expected to drop into the teens, leaving potential for icy roads Wednesday morning. Drivers are asked to travel with caution and avoid leaving their homes if at all possible.
"Because the snow is a very heavy wet snow, it has a lot of water content with it. As temperatures tonight drop into the teens and lower 20s across the area, any roads that have not been treated, that can be compact; that water content will definitely freeze tonight," Meccariello said.
"If you do not have to travel, I recommend that you stay inside for the day and off the roadways. As you travel tomorrow throughout Amarillo and across the Panhandle, be sure to give yourself extra time to reach your destination as there could be some slick spots on the roadways," he added.
The meteorologist expects an additional inch throughout the Amarillo area Tuesday as the snowfall continues throughout the day, with no significant accumulation Wednesday, leading into dry conditions for the next five to six days.
Schools started to announce planned delays for Wednesday on Tuesday afternoon, based on the forecast.
8:30 p.m. update:
"Dalhart ISD will delay school 2 hours tomorrow Wednesday January 25,2023. We will start at 10:00am, buses will run 2 hours late and on pavement only. No breakfast will be served, only lunch."
Memphis ISD will start school at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and their buses will run two hours late.
White Deer ISD will start school at 10 a.m. 1/25/2023, Wednesday morning, and their buses will run two hours late.
Darrouzett ISD will start school at 9:30 am on Wednesday, January 25th. Buses will be at all bus stops at 8:45 am.
Stratford ISD will operate on a 2-hour delayed start tomorrow (1-25). SISD buses will run on pavement only.
Booker ISD: 9:00 am start tomorrow 1-25-23.
Classes at Claude ISD will begin at 10:00 am tomorrow, January 25.
For Farwell ISD, school will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Pavement only for the buses.
Tulia ISD will have a 10 a.m. school start on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Buses will run two hours late.
Childress ISD will begin classes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will operate on a two-hour delay and run in town routes only.
Kress ISD will have delayed start of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will run two hours late and on pavement only.
Wheeler ISD will begin classes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will operate on a two-hour delay and run in town routes only.
Bovina will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will run two hours late and on pavement only.
Turkey-Quitaque ISD will have a delayed start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Kelton ISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Pampa ISD will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will run two hours later than their regular schedule.
Panhandle ISD will begin school at 10 a.m. Jan. 25, and buses will run on pavement only.
Hedley ISD will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late.
Grandview-Hopkins ISD will start school two hours late on Wednesday.
Vega ISD will start school at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Lazbuddie ISD will have a 10 a.m. late start tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will run two hours late on pavement only.
Clarendon CISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Buses will run two hours late, pavement only.
Lefors ISD will have a 10 a.m. start on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Buses will run two hours late.
Channing will have a 9:30 start on Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late.
Happy ISD will have a 10 a.m. start on Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late.
Groom ISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late.
Boys Ranch ISD will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Ft. Elliott will start classes at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Shamrock ISD will begin classes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and buses will operate on a two-hour delay.
Silverton ISD will start classes at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Buses will run on pavement only.
Canadian ISD classes will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning (1/25), and buses will run two hours late.
Wildorado ISD will have a 10 a.m. start on Wednesday, and buses will run two hours later accordingly.
Wellington ISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late on pavement only.
Miami ISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and buses will run two hours late.
Perryton ISD will have a two hour late start tomorrow, January 25th. Buses will run two hours late.
PSP will start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Buses will run one hour late.
Follett ISD will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Buses will run two hours late.
TxDOT crews continue winter weather response
With an additional snowfall of up to two inches possible for portions of the Texas Panhandle through midnight Tuesday, crews across the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) 17-county Amarillo District will continue to monitor roadways and treat as conditions warrant. Dropping temperatures are raising the concern for black ice, which is a thin coating of glazed ice on streets and is difficult to see.
“That’s why drivers will need to be extra vigilant if they have to be on the road tonight and into tomorrow morning,” says Wes Kimmell, director of operations for the Amarillo District. “Our crews will continue to monitor, treat, and blade snow from the roadways through the entirety of this winter weather event until all roadways are clear.” Kimmell also thanks the Texas A&M Forest Service for their assistance in removing snow, slush, and ice from roadways around Amarillo. They continue to clear I-27 between Amarillo and Happy as well as State Loop (SL) 335 from I-27 to I-40.
If possible, drivers should avoid traveling in winter conditions. The safety of the traveling public is TxDOT’s priority. If you must travel, reduce your speed, stay at least 200 feet back from snow plows and/or snow removal equipment and use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first. If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle. Additional tips can be found at https://www.txdot.gov/safety/severe-weather/snow-and-ice.html. For road conditions, call TxDOT road conditions hotline at 1-800-452-9292 or visit www.drivetexas.org.
City, county, regional closings Tuesday
Due to inclement weather, the following Department of Public Safety counties in the Amarillo District are closed Tuesday, Jan. 24: Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Collingsworth, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Moore, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Swisher, and Wheeler.
The following counties in the Amarillo District had a delayed opening until 10 a.m.: Deaf Smith, Oldham, Parmer, Castro, and Hutchinson.
"The roads are slick. We recommend people stay home, but if you must get out, be patient," DPS said in a news release. "Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you if you need to stop quickly. Please be safe!"
City of Amarillo facilities are closed Tuesday due to inclement weather. The following adjustments to operations have been implemented:
Today’s City Council meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m.
Trash services are suspended today.
The city secretary’s office will be open from 8 to 11 a.m. to receive applications for place on the ballot. Anyone interested in filing one today should come during that time and call 806-378-3014 to be let in when they arrive at City Hall.Transit services are operating, though we ask riders to be patient as busses may be slowed due to road conditions.
City Court is closed today. All scheduled dockets will be rescheduled.
Also among city buildings closed Tuesday is the Amarillo Police Department (APD). "You will still be able to get a police response if you require one, but all offices inside the building will be closed. Please be safe if you have to get out today. Slow down and give yourself plenty of extra time to get where you are going. For everyone else, enjoy your snow day!" APD said in a Facebook post.
All Randall County Offices, Randall County Sheriff’s Office and Visitation will be closed Tuesday. Dispatch, Correctional Officers and Patrol Deputies and as needed essential personnel are available, per Judge Christy Dyer, according to an email announcement.
According to the Potter County Sheriff's Office via social media, aside from essential personnel including those at the Detention Center and Dispatch, Potter County offices will be closed Tuesday. "Be safe and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination."
Nearly all of the local and area school districts are closed Tuesday due to weather, including:
Highland Park ISD
River Road ISD
Due to inclement weather, the following BSA Health System clinics will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 24:
BSA Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic
ADC Endoscopy Specialists
BSA Harrington Breast Center
BSA Harrington Cancer Center
BSA Outpatient Therapy Services
BSA Family Medical Clinic
BSA Advanced Wound Care
BSA Amarillo Surgical Group had a delayed opening at 10 a.m.
Amarillo TTUHSC on-campus operations, activities, classes and clinics are canceled on Tuesday due to inclement weather. All remote curricular activities will continue; please check for further communications from your school. Visit www.ttuhsc.edu/emergency for updates.
West Texas A&M University in Canyon and the Harrington Academic Hall WTAMU Amarillo Center are closed, and all classes are canceled for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Continue monitoring WT social media, the local news media, and wtamu.edu for updates.
All Amarillo College campuses are closed and classes are canceled on Tuesday, January 24 due to weather. Please exercise caution and follow local media for weather updates. The AC Board of Regents meeting will also be canceled due to weather.
Texas A&M Forest Service responded to a request for assistance from the Texas Department for Public Transportation for winter weather response, according to a Twittter post: "Motor graders are working to clear snow and ice from Interstate 27 from Amarillo to Happy. Crews have cleared 30 miles and assisted 2 motorists. #txwx"
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Snowfall leads to closings with potential for more snow Wednesday