Even though Victoria and the Coastal Bend is known for its heat, Victoria can also experience winter weather and cold temperatures periodically. Icy conditions and wind chills are just a few of the concerns that can happen during our winter months.
Freeze Warning vs. Watch
Freeze Warning: Take Action! When temperatures are forecasted to go below 32°F for a long period of time, NWS issues a freeze warning. This temperature threshold kills some types of commercial crops and residential plants.
Hard Freeze Warning: Take Action! NWS issues a hard freeze warning when temperatures are expected to drop below 28°F for an extended period of time, killing most types of commercial crops and residential plants.
Freeze Watch: Be Prepared: NWS issues a freeze watch when there is a potential for significant, widespread freezing temperatures within the next 24-36 hours. A freeze watch is issued in the autumn until the end of the growing season and in the spring at the start of the growing season.
Frost Advisory: Be Aware: A frost advisory means areas of frost are expected or occurring, posing a threat to sensitive vegetation.
Tips to Stay Safe during Winter Months
- If going outside, wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing and water repellent outer garments.
- Wear mittens (which are warmer than gloves), a hat and scarf to reduce heat loss.
- Prepare vehicles by having a mechanic check the antifreeze level, brakes, heater, defroster, tires and windshield wipers to ensure everything is in good shape.
- Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas. Avoid driving on icy roads, if possible. Those who must be on the road should drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
- Bring pets inside.
- Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency per person and pets. Make sure to have extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats in case the power goes out
Additional Winter Weather Resources
National Weather Service Winter Weather
National Weather Service Corpus Christi
Ready.gov Winter Weather
Ready.gov Build A Kit
NFPA Winter Safety Tips
Heating is the second leading cause of US home fires and home fire injuries and third leading cause of home fire deaths. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, accounting for more than two of every five fires (44%), as well as the vast majority of deaths and injuries in home fires caused by heating equipment.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties.
Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.
Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
Candle fires peak in December and January with 11 percent of candle fires in each of these months. Christmas is the peak day for candle fires. Each year between 2015-2019, an average of 7,400 home candle fires were reported each year.
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.