By Will McClure
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures get lower, the winter season draws near for the citizens of Stamford. Periodic cold fronts have hit, bringing forth windy days, rainfall and potential for ice. As predicted by KRBC Chief Meteorologist Randy Turner during the Cotton Field Day held in October, the first frost would hit a week earlier than last year. While Stamford residents have enjoyed pleasant temperatures in the low 70s/high 60s, there is no doubt that the winter season is fast approaching.
The initial first big cold front arrived on Thanksgiving night, with rain moving in. KTAB meteorologist Sam Nichols said that the front would bring cold temperatures with "technically our highest temperature for the day occurring at midnight." Stamford residents woke up the next morning to temperatures in the high 30s, a light drizzle and winds that seemed to make the weather seem even colder. The National Weather Service stated that the cold front, combined with the remnants of Hurricane Sandra in the eastern Pacific Ocean, produced a cold and wet weekend with 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over many portions of west central Texas.
Early Friday morning, the National Weather Service released a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Winter Weather Advisory for the area. They predicted that freezing rain would be possible on Friday in a line from Sweetwater, through Anson and to Haskell. As a result, light accumulations of ice and sleet would possibly occur on bridges and overpasses. They advised motorists to use caution if traveling along these areas.
"A winter weather advisory means that periods of freezing rain or sleet may cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving," the National Weather Service said in their statement.
As Stamford prepares for the winter season, the possibility of a repeat of the weather from last year is likely. With many residents traveling, along with school organizations traveling to and from events and games, it is a good idea to always observe caution when going out in winter weather. First, citizens need to stay informed of traffic conditions by looking at reports from the National Weather Service or local news. If the road are dangerous and the trip is not needed, consider postponing travel until conditions improve. Second, if traveling is a must, motorists should leave sooner than needed and not be in a rush. Third, while driving on the road, reduce speeds to maintain control of the vehicle and always be aware of the surroundings. Finally, before any travel, make sure the vehicle has a chance to warm up as it will make initial travel easier on the vehicle.
As always, Stamford residents need to be prepared for any and all weather conditions during the winter season. Always be observant of the weather when deciding on travel or outdoor activities. Stay warm this season and be safe on the roads!