Even after Wednesday’s 80-degree high around Dallas-Fort Worth, local meteorologists warned of impending icy conditions due later in the week.
Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for a pretty significant chunk of North Texas from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Friday. Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties are all under a Winter Storm Warning (click on the links for specifics). A Winter Storm Warning means that “significant amounts of snow, sleet or ice are expected or occurring. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible,” according to the National Weather Service.
As per usual, it’s difficult to put much stock in weather forecasts in our neck of the woods, because even with the threat of a winter blast, it oftentimes doesn’t get quite cold enough for any precipitation to matter. It always seems that when these kinds of fronts roll through, we hover just above the 32-degree mark, and any rain that falls doesn’t freeze. Our last false alarm was at the end of November around the time of the 50th JFK assassination anniversary.
But, multiple local and national media outlets are predicting a bad forecast that will leave us with icy roads and highways, below-freezing temps and a potentially dangerous couple of traveling days for Dallas-Fort Worth residents.
WFAA meteorologist Steve McCauley said on colleague Pete Delkus' Facebook page to expect the metroplex to be “entombed in ice,” though it’s impossible to predict how thick it will be.
Delkus wrote that he was stocking up on the essentials—bread, milk, frozen dinners and toilet paper, warning of the coming “Icemaggedon.”
Several cities have already cancelled weekend events for safety reasons, and some others are closely monitoring weather developments to decide whether to go on with their holiday-themed events. High school playoff games at AT&T Stadium, Southlake Dragon Stadium and Allen Eagle Stadium on Friday and Saturday could be complicated for travelers, plus the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade is supposed to bring out thousands to downtown Dallas Saturday.
Sunday’s Dallas Marathon will attract runners from all over to the city, barring any major weather events—though it will still be bitterly cold, the worst of the forecasted freezing rain should be done by then, and Assistant Police Chief Mike Genovesi said it would take “extreme conditions” to cancel the marathon altogether.
The City of Dallas said today it is preparing for the worst.
“If conditions warrant an Ice Force Level 1 mode (approximately 35 sanding trucks and 100 personnel, including support staff), sanding forces will report in two 12-hour shifts (noon to midnight and midnight to noon)," city officials said.
It’s also possible we could see another round of a snowy mix late Saturday.
Tips from the National Weather Service include wrapping exposed pipes, letting faucets drip once temps go below 32 degrees and keeping a flashlight handy. For more winter weather safety tips, click here.