Snow begins in southwest Texas with warnings about travel

MIDLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Snow began falling Thursday morning in southwestern Texas where forecasters say up to 18 inches could accumulate in higher elevations of the region and a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain is expected to make travel difficult to impossible, according to the National Weather Service.

ABC13 Chief Forecaster David Tillman is in the middle of the snowfall near Fort Stockton. Pictures and video Tillman shared Thursday morning showed fresh snow blanketing the ground. Tillman said about four to five inches had fallen, and there is more to come.

A winter storm warning is in effect in the region until Friday, extending as far north as northwestern Oklahoma, where up to six inches of snow is forecast.

Just more than one inch of snow had fallen in the Midland area, according to National Weather Service forecaster Douglas Cain.

Sleet and freezing rain were falling in San Angelo, according to forecaster Kelli Barendse, who said the total amount of snowfall will be affected by when the precipitation becomes snow.

"It really depends on when the wintry mix transitions over to snow, we're anticipating late this morning or early this afternoon," Barendse said.

No damage has been reported, both Barendse and Cain said.

In Odessa, Texas, in the Permian Basin oil patch, a winter weather shelter was opened that would be available through Friday. Federal guidelines for social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 will be enforced at the shelter, the city said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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