More weather on the way

Odessa and Midland residents who were hoping to be done with this week’s winter storm will have to brace themselves for one last round.

Fortunately, this round shouldn’t be as big as what residents have already seen.
Meteorologist Matthew Johnson of the Midland National Weather Service, said there will be another wave of cold that’s coming through that should impact the Big Bend area first before bringing a mixture of ice and snow into the Permian Basin Thursday.
“As it moves into the Permian Basin, we can expect to see some snow accumulation,” Johnson said. “That would be Thursday morning and into the afternoon. By the afternoon, we should start that warming trend.”
Johnson said about an inch of snow should be expected, however, he stressed that is subject to change as they work on a new forecast package.
Even better news for those tired of the snow and ice, the temperatures should be in the 50s and 60s this weekend.
“Next week, we’re looking clear so far,” Johnson said. “We should warm up into the 70s and the Rio Grande should be pushing the 80s by next Wednesday and Thursday.”
The  forecast still remains a final hurdle as many residents have been affected with the loss of power, internet, water or all three.
Wednesday’s high was 28 degrees while the low was 16.
Thursday’s temperatures are expected to drop with the high being 25 and the low at 12.
Friday should bounce back to a high of 46 with a low of 21 and Saturday will have a high of 54 with a low of 34 according to a recent forecast. Sunday is also expected to see a high of 54 with a low of 28.
“(Thursday), we can expect some pretty cold temperatures again as the cold front moves through the area and brings in cooler air from the north,” Johnson said. “It’s going to stay in the area until hopefully Friday when we get some nice warm west winds to kick some of this out.”
Freezing fog conditions were present Wednesday morning, making travel more arduous for residents. Johnson said to be prepared for more freezing fog in the next day.
As road conditions slowly get back to normal, Johnson said motorists should still be careful about black ice.
“I would just recommend to be careful on icy roadways as there could still be black ice on roads,” Johnson said. “Drive slowly and make sure you’re not tailgating on anyone. If they slip on ice or you slip on ice, it can be a bad situation. Make sure you have plenty of room between cars and be careful.”
>> HARDSHIPS: Residents all across the state have been affected by the winter storm as millions of people have lost power.
Some have had to endure the freezing temperatures without heat as best they can and others have had to take refuge either at another person’s residence or a hotel.
Longtime Odessan Carol Peters and her husband Don Peters have both been staying at the  Elegante for three nights now as power in their house has yet to be restored.
“We went back to the house today to get more clothes because we need to spend tonight and this makes night three,” Carol said. “The last two nights have been at the Elegante. We’re staying cozy and warm. We have a place to go eat so we don’t have to leave. We left during the day because we had no idea that we would be here this long. We just figured that the next morning we would be able to get up and leave. But after talking to some of our neighbors, we found out that we still don’t have power so we had to make another run to the house to gather some more stuff. We didn’t anticipate being here more than a night.”
Carol and Don are not the only ones in the Odessa-Midland area who have been without power this week as thousands of residents have also seen the electricity go out.
Carol Peters  has been left frustrated with the blackouts and says she has never experienced something along this nature during her time in Odessa.
“Back when I was a kid, they understood the concept of rotating the power,” Peters said. “We’d lose it for an hour or two and maybe a couple of times through the course of the day. But never, all day, every day for three days now. They keep sending me notices of rotating and it’s like ‘what part of rotation, do you people not understand?’
>> GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Texas governor Greg Abbott held a briefing Wednesday afternoon and provided an update on the state’s response to winter weather conditions and power outages.
The press conference took place at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin.
The governor addressed where the state is with power outages.
“Right now, there still remains 10,000 megawatts that is off the grid and as a result is not contributing to power in the state,” Abbott said.
Abbott talked about how decisions are made with the subject of whose power is turned off and whose is left on.
“Decisions about power outages are made by either city-owned utilities or co-op owned utilities,” Abbott said. “It would not be any state-based entity that makes those decisions except power outages by investor-own utilities. Those are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Those include for the most part, ONCOR, CenterPoint Energy, AEP and Texas-New Mexico Power. An order has been made to ensure that everyone that is subject to regulation by the PUC, will have access to power on at least a rotating basis during the remaining time period until power is fully up and running.”
Abbott also explained about the weather that is expected to come in the coming days across the state.
“The initial and the main storm that has caused the damages in the state of Texas has moved outside of the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “Snow and sleet in Northeast Texas will continue to exist but also move out over the next six hours.
“After that, another round of precipitation will come across the state. Most of that precipitation will be in the southern part of the state, mostly around I-10 and maybe reaching as far as the Austin area.
He warned about cold temperatures remaining across the state.
“Most of the state will be below freezing (Thursday morning). Along I-10 and north will remain through Thursday night with ultra-cold temperatures. We should across the state get above freezing on Saturday.”
Abbott also added about the issues with the roads will remain.
The governor also said that since 12 a.m. Wednesday, 6,000 megawatts have been added to the Texas grid.
“That equals power to about for 1.2 million households,” Abbott said.
A power outage map showed about 3,200 households  without power in Ector County as of 5 p.m.