Winter weather becoming more common in East Texas

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) –The winter weather last night kept law enforcement busy.  Nacogdoches police responded to 23 car accidents overnight.  And Lufkin police were on the scene of 11 wrecks.

Snow in East Texas has turned into a normal occurrence. But it hasn't always been that way. In fact, before the "White Easter" in 2007, snow in East Texas seemed to come about once a decade.

"All of our wild weather we've seen so far this winter can be contributed directly to El Nino.  Now, what that is a slight rise in the sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific.  Pretty much off the California coast and it's only a one to two degree temperature rise, but that has huge implications on how that changes the global weather pattern," said KTRE Meteorologist Brad Hlozek.

Because of El Nino, Hlozek says it's been anything but a normal winter in East Texas.  And with extreme weather conditions comes power outages.

"Oncor has experienced the weather issues that I guess everyone else has, starting back with even December 23 when Lufkin got hit with a tornado," said David Collier, OnCor Area Manager.

Collier says all the winter weather has forced some of his employees to work longer hours to restore power to East Texans.

"A lot of times you see them go a little longer than 24 hours, but then you have to give them some rest,"

Some say the weather could be a sign of the times.

"The word does say in Luke 21 that there would be earthquakes in various places, there would be pestilence, even famines.  There would also, He would send great signs and there would be times in the seasons that we would not be able to determine and so I think that's what we're living in today," explains Tammy Holder of Church on the Rock.

If El Nino stays strong, it may not be all bad for East Texans.

"The one positive though is that during the summer months, if it maintains itself, it usually inhibits hurricanes from forming, which keeps the tropical season quiet," said Hlozek

And don't think you've seen the last of the snow Hlozek says there could be more chances for another winter wonderland.

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