Winter Weather Puts a Skid on Friday in Houston; Highways Dangerous and Most Public Services Iced Out

Ice still lays on this agave plant after the temperature rose above freezing.

Nothing significant has changed weather-wise since my previous post earlier this morning.  The sun tried to peek through for a bit, but the temperature only rose to 35 for about an hour, and now it’s grey again, and the temper here in northwest Harris County is back to just at freezing 32. 

About every school and university announced closures already yesterday, and now most of the city and county offices are closed.  Local television reports dangerous ice on a lot of the overpasses and bridges, with many accidents as a result.  Houston Transtar shows the location of the bad road spots, and locations of the many accidents across the city can be found here.

Amarylis frozen and covered with ice.

Even though the service roads should be OK because the ground still is warm, I haven’t ventured out further than the front yard even though, I suppose the stores out my way are open, and with the chance to watch some “judge” shows on weekday TV, cabin fever hasn’t been a problem.

If the ice and water out in my yard are any indication, the icy

Icicycles form on the edge of the roof of the garage, but the car is staying nice and dry inside.

freeways won’t get better today.  There is still ice on the agave which is not that far off the warmer yard, so those high ramps and overpasses on the freeways still probably haven’t melted much.  The slick layer on the roof of the garage has melted a bit and forming icicles, a bit of a rarity here in Houston.

Check Out the Traffic and Red Light Cams on Streets and Highways All Over the Houston Region

Some of my internet favs are webcam sites–not so much the ones that show people and their lives, but the ones of places around the globe. I remember the first time seeing Antartica via webcam and a strange one just focused on some doorway in Barcelona. I love how these cheap (or not so cheap) little cameras can take you half a world away. Maybe the view is not always clear nor so interesting, but that can be part of the fun too.

black_snowflakeProbably many people are aware of them but there is a whole set of traffic webcams for Houston and a wide region around the city. There are so many of them that you can check out the traffic and sometimes the surrounding views from your on-ramp to your off-ramp. They not only show many of the exits on all the major freeways, but many intersections on some of Houston’s busiest streets. There are even Transtar cameras more than a hundred miles out of the city. Check out this intersection in downtown Giddings, Texas (about 100 miles northwest of Houston on the way to Austing), or look at the snow still on the ground still on the ground today (12/11/08) near Anahuac (50 miles east of Houston).

After you click on either of these, you can choose other camera locations all over the city of Houston and a large region of Texas.

houston2The Houston TranStar site itself is full of all kinds of information about roads, weather, and transits (like the Houston Metro) for the greater Houston area. If you’re a Houston driver, coming through Houston, or just want to know more about Houston, it’s an excellent site to check out.

redlight-cam1If you want to see the locations of the intersections where the cams catch you for running a red light, check out this map, which shows you the more than 50 redlight cams used by the Houston Police Department.