Winter Blast Is A Bust: Most Schools Are Open, While Power Has Been Restored To Most Customers
Dallas-Fort Worth was under a winter weather advisory until noon Monday. We’ll provide weather updates below. We're expecting warmer temperatures as the week rolls along -- in the 40s Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs in the l0w 50s on Thanksgiving.
Update, 10:04 p.m. Monday: Oncor reports that power has been restored to most customers in North Texas.
Update, 1:15 p.m. Monday: Oncor's website reports that about 12,000 customers in North Texas are without power. The company appears to be making steady progress toward restoring power.
Update, 11:41 a.m. Monday: Oncor's website reports that about 15,000 customers in North Texas are without power. Most outages are in or near Fort Worth. "Oncor crews will continue to work as quickly and as safely as possible until the power is restored," Oncor states. The situation is worse in West Texas -- Customers in and near Midland and Odessa should be prepared for extended power outages through late today to midday Tuesday.
Update, 6:58 a.m. Monday: As of 6 a.m., temperatures were either at or above freezing throughout much of North Texas, although some outlying areas recorded temps of 30 or 31 degrees.
The heaviest rain and freezing rain is already east of Dallas-Fort Worth. By 9 a.m., temperatures should be above freezing throughout the region.
Ice has been reported on some bridges and overpasses in counties north and west of Dallas-Fort Worth, including the northwest portions of Denton County and the far northern edge of Collin County, the National Weather Service reported. Elsewhere, ice is possible on bridges and overpasses that don’t receive much traffic, the Weather Service says.
Major school districts are open today, although some schools are closed due to an extended Thanksgiving break. There are a few delays in smaller school districts in outlying areas. Check here for a listing. Or here. Or here. And here.
Dallas ISD is open:
Classes will be held in Dallas ISD today and all offices will be open.— Dallas ISD (@dallasschools) November 25, 2013
Update, 8:40 p.m. Sunday: Even though the winter storm warning has been downgraded to a winter weather advisory, don't let your guard down, the National Weather Service says. "We still expect frozen precipitation in the form of sleet and ice to occur but accumulations of sleet and ice do not look as much as they did a few days ago," the Weather Service says.
"However, sleet and ice will still cause travel impacts including icy spots on bridges and overpasses and some ice accumulations on power lines may cause power disruptions. Ice accumulations are expected to be less than 1/4 inch. Sleet accumulations will be less than 1/4 inch with some areas receiving close to 1/2 inch. North and Central Texas residents are urged to use caution when traveling late tonight and tomorrow."
From the Weather Service's forecast discussion: Expect a mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet overnight – but expect less frozen precipitation than had been predicted in recent days. Ground and soil temperatures should remain above freezing, so frozen precipitation should melt once it reaches the ground, the Weather Service says. But sleet and ice are expected to stick to bridges, overpasses, trees and power lines.
Update, 8:21 p.m.: It looks like the upcoming winter blast won’t be as big as had been predicted. Just minutes ago, the National Weather Service dropped the winter storm warning that had been in place. Instead, North Texas is under a winter weather advisory until noon Monday.
It’s still going to be cold. And we’ll still get a mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet overnight. But less than a quarter of an inch of ice is expected, down from a half-inch that had been predicted.
Bridges and overpasses will be slick, so be careful out there.
Ground temperatures will be important when determining the potential for freezing rain, the Weather Service said. Meteorologists say that overnight precipitation will mostly be rain, with brief freezing rain as sunrise approaches Monday morning. Temperatures should warn above freezing by mid-morning, which means that rain will be likely at that point (as opposed to snow or sleet).
Update, 4:10 p.m.: The National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office has the latest: “With temperatures hovering at or slightly below freezing through daybreak, some accumulations of sleet and/or freezing rain will occur. While this will not be a major, crippling event, we do expect problems on bridges, overpasses, or other elevated/exposed surfaces across North Texas.” Expect conditions to improve later Monday morning as temperatures climb into the mid-30s.
Update, 3:50 p.m.: The first round of rain and sleet has traveled through Dallas-Fort Worth and is heading east. The precipitation has been light so far.
Expect a break throughout the late afternoon. Round 2 is on its way, moving northeast toward Dallas-Fort Worth – it should arrive around 6 p.m.
A half-inch of ice could form across North Texas late tonight and through Monday morning, the National Weather Service said.
Be careful as you head over bridges and overpasses.
At D/FW, hundreds of canceled flights
Runways should remain just warm enough not to freeze over, unless moderate to heavy sleet showers start forming, the Weather Service said.
D/FW International Airport reports that airlines have “pre-canceled” about 300 departing flights to help reduce the number of stranded travelers. Operations crews are monitoring runways and roads around the airport and will treat them as needed. For the latest flight information at D/FW Airport, check here.
City of Dallas unleashes sanding trucks
The city of Dallas announced that its Street Services department’s sanding operations were scheduled to start at noon today in what’s called “Ice Force Level 1.” That includes a fleet of 30 sanding trucks and 70 personnel.
For driving conditions statewide, click here.
At 3 p.m., temperatures were in the low to mid-30s throughout much of North Texas – ranging from 31 degrees up north in Gainesville to 35 degrees at D/FW International Airport to 36 degrees in Waco.
Tonight, temperatures should be in the upper 20s and lower 30s across the region.
Storm hitting West Texas
West Texas is getting hit by the winter storm. Three storm-related deaths were reported Saturday in a crash in the Texas Panhandle involving nearly a dozen vehicles.
Freezing rain and cold temperatures have already hampered travel in the western parts of the state. Several traffic accidents were reported, including a fatal crash late Friday that left several injured in Vega, about 30 miles west Amarillo, and one that injured three members of singer Willie Nelson's band when their bus struck a pillar on Interstate 30 near Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
We've compiled this report from KERA News reports and The Associated Press.