Cold Front Brings Winter To Dallas-Fort Worth — And Most Of Texas
A powerful cold front has sent temperatures plunging across Texas as far south as the Rio Grande Valley, where the National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch through Tuesday morning.
The freeze watch for far South Texas could endanger crops and other sensitive vegetation.
Much of the state Sunday was under some form of winter weather, freeze or wind chill advisory, watch or warning.
Texas Department of Transportation crews last week pre-treated 10,000 miles of roads with a brine solution to keep ice from sticking. Department spokeswoman Natalie Galindo says crews in the Fort Worth and Dallas area have been spreading a magnesium chloride granular mixture on roads to help drivers.
Icy conditions have been reported north and west of Dallas through the Panhandle and West Texas.
Our earlier story:
Freezing drizzle has been falling across parts of North Texas this morning – particularly in areas to the north and west of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Several accidents have been reported, particularly on Highway 287, the National Weather Service says. (Highway 287 runs northwest of Fort Worth, passing through cities like Rhome, Decatur and Bowie.) In Cooke County, there were reports of several accidents on Interstate 35.
The National Weather Service says some icy spots are possible, especially on bridges and overpasses – and that could lead to hazardous travel.
Texas Department of Transportation said this morning that some black ice was forming on parts of Interstate 20 in Parker and Palo Pinto counties.
“We are treating all troubled areas and structures on the roadway,” TxDOT says. “Drive slowly and allow extra room between you and the other vehicles.”
But if you live south of Dallas-Fort Worth, you may escape much of the freezing precipitation.
“Temperatures will remain above freezing southeast of a Lampasas to Waco to Canton line through early afternoon which means just drizzle is expected there with no impacts,” the weather service says.
Once the precipitation races across North Texas, the cold temperatures will remain. Expect New Year's Eve temperatures to dip into the low 20s by midnight.
Freezing conditions can create extremely dangerous driving conditions. If drivers must get out: reduce speed, use caution on bridges, ramps and overpasses, leave enough room between you and others and avoid travel if possible.— @txdotfortworth (@TxDOTFortWorth) December 31, 2017
Bitter cold across the South
The Associated Press reports:
Bitterly cold temperatures spreading across the Deep South will be potentially deadly, as freezing weather will likely last for several days in a region more accustomed to brief bursts of arctic air than night after night below zero.
Frozen pipes and dead car batteries were concerns from Louisiana to Georgia as overnight temperatures in the teens were predicted across the region by Monday night.
This summer, when Atlanta's largest homeless shelter closed, its longtime director worried that people would die on the streets.
The upcoming week could test whether she was right, as advocates say they've seen far more homeless people living outside this winter than in previous years. The temperature in Atlanta is expected to dip into the low 20s on New Year's Eve, and plunge into the teens Monday and Tuesday night.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina from 1 to 9 a.m. Monday.
Temperatures could dip below freezing leading to a few hundredths of an inch of ice accumulating on roads, bridges, trees and power lines, forecasters said. There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation.
That's enough ice to leave slick spots, especially on the dozens of Lowcountry bridges.
Freezing rain and a wintry mix was possible through the weekend, the National Weather Service said. Then, low temperatures could drop below 15 degrees in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi during the first few days of 2018, forecasters said.
In Atlanta, volunteers were preparing to go beneath bridges and other areas where Atlanta's homeless spend the night. They give them clothing, blankets and other items on the coldest nights of the year.