Snow flurries descended on Austin and across the Hill Country late Wednesday as temperatures dipped into the mid-30s.
At 10:30 p.m., the snow was expected to continue for about two hours.
Snow began to fall even as temperatures hovered above freezing in Austin, said Nick Hampshire, National Weather Service meteorologist.
“The atmosphere in the clouds is below freezing. … The precipitation is able to stay frozen before it reaches to the ground, and then it eventually melts once it hits the ground,” Hampshire said.
8:30 p.m. update: Light sleet fell briefly in Austin around 8 p.m. Wednesday, and the Hill Country reported seeing snow flurries around 6 p.m.
Temperatures in Austin on Wednesday night did not reach freezing, but National Weather Service meteorologists said some precipitation likely froze at a colder altitude before falling in the metro area.
10:25 a.m. update: The city of Austin has activated its cold weather shelters for those living on the streets and needing refuge from the frigid temperatures Wednesday night.
National Weather Service forecasters are calling for a chance of winter precipitation between 9 p.m. and midnight with temperatures dropping to as low as 33 degrees.
North-northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph could include gusts as strong as 25 mph.
Single adult men or women needing shelter should report to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless at 500 E. Seventh St. by 5:15 p.m.
Families should report to the Salvation Army at 501 E. Eighth St. by 7 p.m.
The city has a shelter hotline at 512-305-4233 for more information.
Austin cold weather shelters have been activated for tonight, Wednesday 02/05. Single adult men or women needing shelter should report to ARCH by 5:15PM. Families in need report to the Salvation Army by 7PM. For more info call the shelter hotline at 512-305-4233. #ATXWeather
Wednesday forecast for Austin: Did temperatures almost reach 80 degrees on Tuesday? Yes. Is snow going to be possible Wednesday night? Also, yes!
This is Central Texas, y’all, and finicky weather is our specialty! So, take those jackets and scarves out of your closet and get ready for a frigid day.
Skies will be cloudy with a 40% chance of rain, mostly before 10 a.m., and a high temperature near 47 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
Patches of light rain will continue to fall on the Hill Country throughout the morning, making for a few slick spots on bridges where temperatures are freezing, forecasters said.
North-northwest winds blowing 10 to 15 mph during the day in the Austin area could have 25 mph gusts at night when skies are cloudy.
Nighttime will have a 30% chance of rain, with the possibility of snow, between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m., forecasters said. Temperatures will drop to a near-freezing low of 33 degrees at night.
While a mix of rain and snow will be possible late Wednesday, little to no snow accumulation is expected, forecasters said.
Temperatures will start to warm back up on Thursday, according to the weather service’s extended forecast:
Thursday: Sunny with a high near 57. Clear at night with a low around 38.
Friday: Sunny with a high near 72. Clear at night with a low around 42.
Saturday: Sunny with a high near 66. Mostly clear at night with a low around 46.
Sunday: Partly sunny with a 20% chance of rain after 7 a.m. and a high near 71. Mostly cloudy at night with a 30% chance of rain, mostly after 7 p.m., with a low around 57.
Monday: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of rain and a high near 71. Mostly cloudy at night with a 40% chance of rain and a low around 56.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of rain and a high near 71.