Weather update: Residents react, prepare for a week of snow in Shreveport, Bossier City
On Monday morning, residents woke up to a rare sighting of several inches of snow covering their yards. The excitement was shared as social media was flooded with photos and videos of people sharing their snow day adventures across the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
“I was like a little kid. I was excited,” said Tracy McComic, of Shreveport. “When I woke up this morning I was in awe — like wow — it’s magic.”
Much of the Southern region was blanketed with snow and sleet over the weekend, resulting in businesses, schools, and road closures.
The snow day is expected to be extended to be a snowy week. Another wave of the wintry mix is predicted to come on Wednesday. Below freezing temperatures will prevent the accumulated snow and ice from melting until the weekend.
“With these cold temperatures and wind it’s going to be pretty brutal for us Southerners,” said Lisa May, a meteorological technician for the National Weather Service-Shreveport.
On Monday morning, meteorologists were still collecting snow accumulation data across the region. So far, 3 to 6 inches is reported to have fallen on Shreveport-Bossier City over the weekend. There were 4.5 inches outside of the NWS-S office, which is at the Shreveport Regional Airport, May said.
The top six snow accumulation totals recorded for the Shreveport area:
- 10.8 inches on Dec. 21, 1929
- 7.9 inches on Jan. 19, 1948
- 7.7 inches on Jan. 30, 1949
- 7.0 inches on Dec. 9, 1898
- 5.6 inches on Jan. 13, 1982
- 5.4 inches Dec. 16, 1983
It may be the record snow accumulation for the date, but not record highs for the area. Higher amounts of snow have been reported in East Texas near Texarkana—Longview with 9 inches reported and 8 inches in the Tyler and Marshall areas.
Shreveport didn’t reach any records for lows for temperature either, though more freezing conditions are coming.
A wintry mix that could include freezing rain, snow, and a mixture of both are forecast for Tuesday night, all-day Wednesday, and into Thursday morning, May said.
Monday night, the temperature low is forecast at 5 degrees. Tuesday calls for a high of 29 degrees with mostly sunny skies, but not it will not get warm enough to melt any of the snow. On Tuesday night will be a low of 20 degrees with a 40% chance of the wintry mix coming in. Wednesday is a 100% chance of the wintry mix and a high of 31 degrees. Friday will be a high of 32 degrees, which is the freezing point. Thursday night, there is a low of 14 degrees.
Winter weather updates:Snow blankets Shreveport
“We don’t expect to get over freezing until Friday,” May said.
The snow will begin to melt as soon as Friday, which is expected to have a daytime high temperature of 36 degrees and sunny. By Sunday, the temperature high is expected to be 57 degrees.
It will feel colder outside, as the wind chill factors will be in the negatives Monday night and into Tuesday afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -4 and as low as -2 degrees, May said.
The top six coldest temperatures recorded in the Shreveport area:
- -5 degrees on Feb. 12, 1899
- -3 degrees on Feb. 13, 1899
- -2 degrees on Jan. 18, 1930
- 1 degree on Jan. 8, 1886
- 2 degrees on Jan. 12, 1918
- 2 degrees on Feb. 2, 1951
Roadways will continue to be hazardous. Commuters are to expect closures and delays on streets and highways across the South.
“If you don’t have to drive and be out in it, don’t, because the roads are going to be treacherous over the next several days. With these temperatures below freezing, things are not going to be able to melt off,” May said. “Take care of your pets and your neighbors and check on everybody and just hang tight until the weekend.”
Trekking through the snow
Ahead of the snowstorm, Tracy McComic prepared for the Arctic freeze forecast to hit Shreveport. She stocked up on groceries to last through the week, rescheduled appointments, and made sure pets were safe and warm inside. She left the water running and covered outside pipes to prevent them from bursting.
“I remember the storm in the early '80s. I was a kid,” McComic said. “My biggest fear for this event is the electricity going out.”
She still has electricity, but across the South, many residents do not.
McComic is not used to the amount of snow. She estimates about 5 inches fell at her Shreveport home.
Around 7:30 a.m., McComic defrosted her vechiles and braved the roads of Highland and South Highlands neighborhoods. She is pet-sitting and had to drive about a mile and a half to check on the animals at the other home.
“When I was driving this morning, it was a weird feeling—like you could hear the snow. It wasn’t like ice, but you could feel the snow crunching down,” McComic said. “I expect it’s going to get worse later on when it gets sludgy-icy.”
McComic saw other commuters, including an incident in which police were blocking off a portion of Kings Highway at Line Avenue, she said. A driver was having trouble getting his truck making up a small incline—which he finally managed, she said.
Back home, McComic also had trouble with spinning wheels as she attempted to get her vehicle up the driveway at her house. She resigned to park on the street.
McComic looked forward to having an outdoor play day, but the snow was too light and fluffy to make snowballs and snowpeople, she said. She is waiting for when it is firm enough to mold before she goes out again.
“I’ve gathered old scarves and hats and Mardi Gras items to hopefully build a snowman or snow creatures later,” McComic said. “I also bought some low sticks to use in my creations.”
Also, she inflated an inner tube with hopes of sledding down the hills in her neighborhood this week.
Family at play
At the Bias family’s home Christine Bias, her husband and their two children woke up to see the fluffy snow outside their Southern Hills home. They made the most of the early parts of the snow day—for as long as they could stand the cold temperatures.
“They got super excited and instantly started putting on boots and shoes,” said Christine Bias. “I’d bought the kiddos snow gloves so they could build a snowman, but the snow is too fluffy and powdery to build a snowman.”
Instead, they checked on the snow collected in pots sat outside overnight which will be used to make snow ice cream or ice. They checked the depth of the snow around the yard—which measured to be about 5 inches high. The amount of snow was ideal for making snow angels.
“We had fun check out the tracks in our yard—little squirrel tracks and animal tracks. We were checking out what kind of animals are frolicking in our yard.”
This week, they plan for more snow play followed by hot chocolate and cozying up under the blankets to keep warm.
“We did some precooking of some stew and chicken and dumplings and chili,” Bias said. “We made sure we had water stocked up in case the pipes froze, or the electricity went out. We wanted to make sure the tummies were full, and we were warm.”
Caddo Parish Schools were among the schools closed for President’s Day and the family could spend the day at home.
School closures:Bossier Schools cancels Tuesday, Wednesday classes
Her husband, Curtis, was reminded of the 1983 snowstorm which he recalls the Red River freezing over, she said. Still, the Louisianans are adapting to the rare occurrence.
“I wasn’t built for this—that’s for sure—but I’m glad to get some time off for some family fun,” Bias said, who’s from Slidell. “We’re used to Louisiana snow, but this is real snow and it’s kind of exciting.”
For weather updates, visit the National Weather Service-Shreveport at weather.com or call (318) 631-3669.