Another cold front

Today we have a love high of 85 degrees. Its was a warm day, no sweater needed. And yet tonight we should drop to 36 degrees. Here in Austin they are calling for a cold front over the next few days. Dallas, a bit north of us, is looking to get freezing rain. We don’t expect that here. Well, we are looking to drop down to 29 tomorrow, and dropping to 30 Thursday evening.

We are also looking at some rain possible tomorrow evening. It could start with showers around 4pm, and the temperatures will still be above freezing. But by 7pm, it may be down to freezing and turn to freezing rain. That is yet to be seen. But the precipitation shouldn’t last long, it should be over by 10pm.

Its possible Thursday early morning (think just after midnight) we could get more freezing rain. But my mid morning we should be back above freezing so any precipitation should revert back to liquid rain. Let’s hope they are right.

After the storm

We’ve made it through the majority of the cold weather that came our way. I say the majority since the nights are still cold. Today we hit a high of 52 here at the house, but tonight is due to be 29. So we still have below freezing nights.

Today, in the warmth I took a walk around the yard, both front and back. I did this for a very specific reason. Since we had gotten rain, and freezing rain, and sleet, things that got wet from the rain had the opportunity to freeze. Since the sun has been out and the temperature has warmed, I looked around to see what areas still have ice. As you might expect, some areas of the roof still have patches of ice. That was pretty much expected and not something I will do anything about. They will eventually melt.

The areas I am looking at the most are areas around the yard that still have ice or left over sleet. Now the sleet pellets froze together so they almost look like snow, but they are frozen with a crust on top. I actually have areas on my driveway and front walk path that still have frozen iced over area. These area still slippery. But since so much has defrosted and melted, it also tells me that at this time of year these areas do not get much sun. Hmmmm. Something to think about and be aware of. Some small patches on my walk way to the house are slick, essentially black ice. I have some ice melt, safe for the dog, that I may use on those patches.

Now you may ask “why bother”? Well I bother because someone that isn’t looking could still slip on these small patches. My dog did today. Its easy to discount those little patches as nothing. But one of those patches is where I back my car out of the driveway. I figure it may be safer to use a melt for my safety than to wait for mother nature. The nights don’t hit the 40’s until just over a week from now. I’d rather melt them and feel safer than leave them as ice and just wait. Now I’m only going to spread ice melt where I walk, not on the mulch that is still frozen. I’m not walking n the mulch. But it has been interesting to look around and see what areas don’t get much sun, or not enough sun to melt ice at this time of year.

I stress this time of year since it would be different during another time of year. Right now my solar lights around my front walk path (an area with ice) don’t receive much sun. You can tell that by the fact they are not real bright at night. And that is way I did this walking around and making note of these still ice covered area.

Such a learning experience.

The day after

Last night, or rather early this morning, at 1AM I got up. Last night was our coldest night expected. And at 1AM it was 19 degrees outside. How much lower did it actually get, I’m not sure. Considering the forecast for this area was 18 I’m betting we dropped below that.

Yesterday, during the day time, I had a small space heater blowing near where my water softener attaches to the house water. Last year that was where it froze and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. I wanted to make sure water was running, so when I turned the heater off, it was to run a tap in one of the spare bathrooms. They said to run it farthest from where water comes in. I didn’t choose that faucet since that was attached to the room I was sleeping in and I didn’t want to listen to dripping water all night. But I did pick the next best. The good news is that running the space heater had heated the area near the water softener to 50 degrees, I had a thermometer near it. Even with out it running all night that area was about 45 this morning. And the water was running okay too.

As for today it is now 2:30 PM and here at my house we have made it up to 40 degrees. Ice is melting, and has been sliding off the roof top. Most of it slid off this morning, and I could hear it, especially when I walked outside, or opened the door. Most of it is now gone, other than those areas that don’t get much sun light.

With this temperature most of the glass areas are now wet, but no longer frozen. Some area, those that have had all day sun, those areas are actually dry. Most of the roads area dry too.

It was dry enough I was actually able to walk Linus, my dog. One thing I notice out on my walk was flying icicles. This morning we had some wind, I noted 8mph on my weather station. Consequently, it was shaking trees. That shaking, at least I’m guessing here, was able to dislodge ice from the trees and send it flying. I even have ice pieces in the middle of my driveway. I’m guessing this is a result of the flying ice, since there is no other easy explanation – no tree limbs over my driveway.

As for the yard, the ice yesterday left one of my apple trees bent over. As of right now its still bent over, but it has not broken. So I’m guessing it has survived so far. It doesn’t look like any limbs broke on any of my trees. I consider that a good thing. I shouldn’t lose any trees from this storm.

It was nice getting out for the walk, but it was cold. I was glad to get back into the house. I will say the birds ate all the birdseed I had out. I mean all the bird seed. It was empty, not much stuck to the bottom even. I did refill it today. I’m sure the brds will be happy for that.


We woke up here at my place to 28 degrees, just over 1 inch of precipitation from last night, and ice.

8:30 AM Feb 2, 2022

The bad news is it is not going to get any better today nor tomorrow. Schools are closed both today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday).

Out side is a mixture of ice on tree limbs, and sleet pellets on the ground. We’ve had little rain today, its all freezing rain and sleet.

Some areas around are flooded. I’ve been watching news and they said some areas got 3 inches of rain last night. So a few areas have water over the roads. Hopefully those won’t freeze and stay liquid. But its going for cold, and around freezing in the area all tody and tomorrow. They are calling for a low of 18. Some areas will get wind chills of 0, zero, or thereabouts.

Its not almost 10am as I write this and my weather stations says we are down to 26 degrees.

UPDATE: Its now 1pm, and we are down to 23 degrees

Cold is coming

We started this morning with a nice mid 50’s. It was overcast but okay weather. That was this morning.

Now, 7pm we have dropped just below 40 and we expect it to continue dropping.

I stopped at the grocery story today after exercise. It was packed with people. I often go to the grocery store after exercise. It makes sense since one grocery store is about 3 doors down, the other grocery store is on the way home. Either way, it makes sense to go to the grocery store after exercise. What this means is I know how busy it usually would be today, at these grocery stores. Well, today was definitely different. If you didn’t get a basket out in the parking lot, they were hard to come by. Some items were out, clean shelves.

And there were a lot of people in the stores. Instead of maybe 2 people in line, there were 6-8. Carts were full, some with what I thought were strange items. One couple had a card loaded with large 2 liter soda bottle, and I mean loaded. They were stacked upright, then stacked upside down in between the upright bottles. And it was a full cart. Small cartons of milk were all gone. I was lucky enough to snag a medium size bottle, but I saw one guy trying to carry 4 large gallon size jugs of milk. Some canned goods were sold out too.

I’m sure now at this time of night, even thought the stores would normally be open, I’m sure they are pretty cleaned out and empty.

I’ve even heard schools are closed both Thursday and Friday. The new forecast says a low of 26 tonight. Tomorrow will be a high of 29 with a low of 17. Then Friday it will be a high of 36 with a low of 19. Since we have rain already, albeit light precipitation, it will probably turn into ice. They are expecting freezing rain tonight.

Earlier today, before I left for exercise I covered plants, turned off water, and covered the hose bibs. Since yesterday we got over an inch of rain, I’m not worried about the plants needing watering. Hopefully everything will make it through this cold. We’ll see.

Cold front

The forecast has been warning about a cold front for a number of days now. Well, today we hit a high of 81 here at the house. Less than an hour ago it was 79, now its 68. I’ve been watching the temperature since we moved plants to the center of the back patio but I wanted to cover them at 75. Well, I watched the temp and was able to cover them when I wanted to. I really wanted to co er them before it got too cold.

Tonight’s forecast is all of 29, and I bet we hit it. It might be early in the morning when we hit that, but it means we will be in for a cold night. And on top of that we expect wind, so it will be cold outside.Tomorrow, Thursday we expect a high of 39, and a low of 25. So it will be cold tomorrow no matter how you look at it. Friday is expected to get up to 49 with a low of 26.

Outside right now the clouds are coming in and the air is still, but the temperature keeps slowly dropping. I guess the only good news is here we have no forecast of precipitation. But the Austin area is under a winter weather advisory.

Basically it says we should expect precipitation of minor sleet/snow, possibly ice but probably not measurable. But they are also saying wind gusts to 35 mph. And we’re expecting it to begin around 3AM Thursday and go until 6AM Friday. But exactly where this will hit remains to be seen.

We survived

The weather event that Texas went through the other week was one for the record books, in many ways. Did people die from this cold? Apparently yes. Not the best outcome. Why did people die? Well, from what I can tell it was a variety of reasons. For some it was literally the cold – they lost power, some for pretty much the entire week. Houses got down to the 30-40’s inside the house. Some had no water for days. The cold, no heat or power, no water, no way to safely warm themselves, no way to get out, and no way to get help – from what I can tell, those were reasons for deaths in this cold event. I’m sure there were other reasons too.

For those that live in cold climates, you may wonder why this was such a big deal. Basically it came down to preparedness. How do you prepare for something you don’t know? If you’ve never lived through an earthquake, all the information you can be told, all the videos you can watch don’t really prepare you for the actual reality. Also you may have expectations. If you think you can just call for help, how does that happen when cell towers are down? How do you charge your cell phone if you have no power? Most people never think about these things.

And when I say people, I’m not just talking about citizens. It applies to companies too. Disaster planning requires quite a bit of thought. If you have no water and you can’t get to a store, what do you do? You can’t use a hose as there’s no water. If you don’t keep water on hand, how do you get water? What do you drink?

I’m not talking about survivalist training, nor having a basement filled to the brim with items just for the end of the world. But most people seem to not understand, nor prepare at all for something to happen. Except things do happen. And no I don’t have any great suggestions. The information is told to people, its available online, there are a lot of ways to find it. But preparing take work, and not everyone can easily do that. Sometimes resources are just not there for people.

I am sorry people died. I was stuck inside too. Alone. And my power went off and on too. So I had to make do too.

But back to the garden. Such was the snow and ice event in central Texas. Now we just wait and see what plants survive. The good news is it doesn’t really look like I lost a lot of them. Most of the succulents took this cold hard and they may not survive. And I think the tomatoes are dead. But surprisingly, a lot of plants seem to have survived. Now its just wait and see.

Still cold

Well its another cold day in Texas. Its now Wednesday Feb 17, 2021 and we’ve made it through two storms with one more on the way.

Texas has not taken these storms well. Texas has its own power grid and is not equipped to handle this kind of weather, especially since its basically covered the entire state, top to bottom and side to side. I understand even Corpus Christi, by the coast, got snow. I did hear they are planning on calling in help from other states that know how to handle this kind of weather. Lets hope that is true.

I spent part of this time without electricity, it would come on for a while (15 minutes to 4 hours), then go off for a while (2 hours to 4 hours). Think of it as rolling black outs. I had some freezing of a pipe in my garage (from my water softener to the house). It was enough to keep water from entering the house. I was able to thaw it enough to get my water back. I put a space heater aimed at the pipes and left it there for an hour. I was lucky. Even though the power went off, it was enough to thaw the pipe and water began dripping in the faucets. I was actually able to get water dripping in all the faucets. So now I have water again.

Some people have been without water since Monday. Some houses are in the 40’s inside the house because of no electricity. And the state does not yet know when everything will be back to normal.

SO what does this have to do with gardening you ask. Well, think about this. If you have plants outside, covered, maybe you have lights wrapped around them for warmth, those lights require electricity to be on and provide that warmth. No electricity, no lights. Those plants that you have in the greenhouse, again probably with some sort of heater, no longer have that heater. Those seedlings under grow lights don’t have grow lights that are on. And of course you cannot water anything if you don’t have water. Even you indoor plants may take a hit if they have no water and no warmth. Your first concern in these kinds of circumstances is your own survival first, you can replace plants.

Which brings us back to gardening. At this point, all those lovely plants I had outside in pots, even those up against the house are now probably dead. Since I got 7 inches of snow on my deck, and had snow blown all the way up to the house itself, the area next to the house got down into the 20’s, I expect I will be replacing a lot of plants.

I’m thinking of this as an opportunity to just start over, to a degree. I still have raised beds, nothing in one, and seedlings and swiss chard in the other, and I expect nothing will survive this cold. Considering we had one morning where the temperature was 2F, I don’t expect anything in the garden to survive. Maybe I’ll be happily surprised. I’m not sure if my grass even survived. We’ll see.

Not so funny stories. One friend has been staying with someone, no power. Where they are at is down to 43 degrees. Another friend has been without power and they are down to 45 degrees. A news caster mentioned that the TV station offered to put everybody up in a hotel a couple of blocks from the station. Some people took them up on the offer, some did not. One guy who did not said he got home and his place was in the low 40’s because he still had no power.

Since we are two storms down and one more to go, we’ll see how people fare. Grocery store shelves are empty, and grocery stores are on very reduced hours (maybe noon to 5).  Roads vary from ice covered impassable to slush, to this is drivable albeit slowly.

And Sunday we expect to be back into the 60’s.

NOTE UPDATE: they are saying as of 5pm today, Austin has now hit 122 hours at 32 or below. Also, I misspoke, we are in our fifth storm in 7 days. They may be counting since the beginning last Thursday.

Cold and getting colder

Okay, Texas is seeing temperatures that are record breaking cold. The cold we started with three days ago is getting even colder. Right now, Sunday Valentines Day, 6pm, it is 19 degrees going for a low of 9 tonight. We are due for snow, which is currently falling ever so small flakes, and blizzard conditions. They are talking about ice and snow accumulations of 5-8 inches.

This was what the forecast was yesterday. Today its not looking any better.

Its strange to see the differences.

We’ve been doing okay here at the house so far. But the suggestion is not to go out, and considering my deck is currently 26, I’m not holding out much hope for things to survive. But the house is still warm, I have power, so I can’t complain. Of course I have more than enough food so I’m not going to starve. Hopefully everything stays on.

One thing I do have to laugh about is usually trash goes out tonight, for pick up Monday morning. But as of right now, 6pm, I can only see two houses with trash out. And I’m not one of them. I’m not going to worry about it. I haven’t seen a car on the road today, and I haven’t seen anybody out walking their dogs. Trying to get my dogs out to the grass hasn’t been easy. They look at me as if I’m nuts, as if to say “mom, you do know how cold it is out there??” They’ve had a couple of accidents, and under the circumstances I’m not making a fuss.

But they will need baths when it warms up.