• November 23, 2020

Permian Basin gets freezing temps - Odessa American: News

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Permian Basin gets freezing temps

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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 11:22 am

The Permian Basin is projected to see a stint of cold weather for the next 48 hours with potential for snow around Southeast New Mexico and the potential for an ice storm around eastern parts of the Permian Basin.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Salerno said that the temperatures in the Permian Basin are 20 to 30 degrees below normal with Monday’s high around 36 to 38 degrees.

“That’s what we're expecting for the next couple of days,” Salerno said, adding that with the potential of Monday night reaching a low of 27 degrees, roads could be slick on Tuesday as the temperature is projected to stay below freezing.

“All this cold air has just been built up from north of us. We have a lot of snow that fell from like Montana down to the front range of the Rockies and that cold air has just come all the way down, tunneled down through Canada. It’s the Arctic Airmass. This could be some of the coldest temperatures we’ve ever seen actually in October.”

With drizzle starting off in Ector County, temperatures will reportedly drastically decrease after sunset on Monday.

Temperatures will stay below freezing into early Tuesday morning, he said.

“During this period, we’re expecting kind of a light freezing rain to occur and all that freezing rain and potentially some sleet as well will freeze on surfaces. -- mainly elevated surfaces and overpasses. That’s what we’re most concerned with right now across the Permian Basin.”

Commuters should be aware of serious ice patches on roads Tuesday morning, he said.

Salerno said that there is also potential for an ice storm, a quarter an inch of ice, from Midland to Big Spring, Snyder, as far as Lamesa.

"There’s also gonna be potential for snow to occur late Tuesday and early Wednesday across Southeastern New Mexico," he said.

Salerno said that the weather service urges people to use caution if they have to be out and doesn’t recommend traveling while there is ice on the roads.

“We’ve already contacted TxDOT and they’re on top of getting the roads treated and we’re trying to stay ahead of the game here just in case there’s significant icing,” he said, adding that they are also advising people to wrap pipes, pay attention to their pets and detailing that plants or crops will be killed or damaged if they are left unprotected.

TxDOT Odessa District Public Information Officer Gene Powell said in a phone interview that they were out Monday treating the roads and addressing problem roads.

“Obviously, we can’t be on every road. We can’t treat every road. Neither can the city; neither can the county. We’ll hit our priority roads,” he said. “We’ll need the traveling public to slow down and drive the conditions.”

Powell said TxDOT will treat all the interstate main lanes with brine water to help prevent accumulation of ice including State Highway 191 and the two loops in Midland and Odessa.

“Problem areas just kind of depend on where the precipitation falls or if it falls … We know that bridges will freeze over fastest,” he added.

“No matter how much we try to prevent, people need to act as if we haven’t been out there at all because all it takes is a small patch of ice to lose control,” he said.

Powell said that they’ll do what they can with limited resources and limited people.

“If you’re not comfortable driving in this stuff, don’t drive in it and slow down.”

The Odessa Police Department asked the public in a press release to be extra careful if traveling Monday through Wednesday.

“Please use extra caution if you must travel on Interstate 20, Highway 80, and Highway 191,” the release said, adding that if people have to travel, they should reduce speeds and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles which would allow enough time to stop in case of an emergency.

“Drive with your headlights on and use extra caution when approaching all intersections and when traveling over bridges. Avoid using cruise control and ease off the gas pedal or brakes if you start to skid,” the release stated.

While the cold weather may be chilling, Salerno said that conditions will heat up around Thursday to make for a warmer weekend.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 93%
Winds: SSE at 15mph
Feels Like: 53°

Your Extended Forecast


High 66°/Low 55°
Windy with clouds. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid 50s.


High 75°/Low 38°
Partly cloudy and windy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 30s.


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