Doc Deason, meteorologist with KYTX CBS19, said the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 3 a.m. to noon today, encompassing areas south of Interstate 20, including Smith, Gregg and Cherokee counties. Smith County had a 20 to 30 percent of chance of freezing rain today, but temperatures were expected to hang around the freezing mark.
The winter weather was caused by a big stream of moisture coming off the Pacific Ocean, riding on top of a shallow layer of cold air, Deason said. Smith County was at the northwestern edge of the front, and therefore had a lesser chance of wintery precipitation.
Wednesday morning held a small chance for wintery weather, but Deason said he had seen two polar opposite weather prediction models, so it was hard to say for sure. He said it depended on the direction the front started moving.
Lows are expected to be near the freezing mark for the remainder of the week, with highs in the 40s on Wednesday and highs in the 50s Thursday through the weekend, Deason said. Lows should warm up a bit to just above freezing by Monday, Deason said. No more precipitation is expected after Thursday.
The Salvation Army is bracing for a cold week, which will affect its supplies of blankets, warm meals and beds to sleep in, according to a written release from the organization.
“Many have the privilege of finding warmth in their own home or place of work. Unfortunately, there are many who do not have that luxury,” the release reads. “Many men, women and children suffer through the winter temperatures with little food to eat, no shelter and inadequate clothing to keep warm. The Salvation Army’s doors are never closed as they welcome everyone to come in from the cold.”
Donations can be made to 633 N. Broadway Ave. Tyler, Tx., 75702. You also can make a monetary donation by visiting the office or going online to www.salvationarmytyler.org.
“The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 115 years within Smith County,” reads the release. “The organization serves more than 6,000 individuals annually through an array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.”
Animals may have fur coats, but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suggest bringing them inside when temperatures near freezing, according to a news release from the agency. Dogs and cats can still suffer from frostbite and become dehydrated when water in their bowls freezes.
PETA suggested pet owners bring in animals that are typically kept outside. It states outside-only animals are more likely to go without adequate food, water, shelter or veterinary care.
The agency suggests bringing animals indoors, especially small animals, puppies, kittens, elderly animals and dog breeds with short hair, such as pit bulls, Beagles, Rottweilers and others.
Animals should not be allowed to wander outdoors. Cats are known to climb under hoods of cars for warmth and can be badly injured when it is started by its owner, the release states. Short-haired dog breeds also may benefit from a sweater during walks to keep them warm.
Strays also can freeze in the weather. PETA suggested taking stray animals indoors if they seem to have an owner or bringing them to an animal shelter. If critters are feral or skittish, leaving food and water out and breaking the ice twice a day is suggested.