Dallas-Fort Worth area could see near-blizzard conditions this weekend
A winter storm notice was issued for the Dallas-Fort Worth area prior to the weekend forecast. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Updated at 8:50 p.m. February 12: This story has been updated to include the latest forecast.
The National Weather Service put a winter storm warning in effect for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area from February 13th to February 15th. The forecast envisages bitterly cold temperatures and possible conditions near the snow storm.
Heavy mixed rainfall is expected, and north Texans could see between 3 and 6 inches of snow, according to the NWS, as well as high winds creating drifting and drifting snow.
NWS meteorologist Allison Prater said winds could be up to 40 miles per hour, which would lead to tree breakage, power outages and limited visibility.
“We’re really driving the wind [minus] 15 and [minus] There are 10 degrees possible that could increase the risk of hypothermia, ”said Prater.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster statement for all 254 counties in Texas on Feb. 12 as state funds continue to be used to support local officials, according to a press release. Abbott also ordered the Texas State Operations Center to be operational 24/7 by the end of next week.
“Texas should follow the directions of its local guides and be aware of changing weather conditions in their area,” Abbott said in a press release. “These resources will help us respond to this severe winter weather and protect our communities.”
Based on the forecast, people can expect cold temperatures by the middle of next week. The NWS reports that afternoon highs for teenagers will extend into their 30s, while morning wind chill will range from subzero to teenagers.
We need your help to share this information with all of your friends and family! The time to get ready is today. Conditions will worsen from Saturday evening to next week with single-digit temperatures on Monday evening. #dfwwx #ctxwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/64nSaHWzGq
– NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 12, 2021
“Due to icy bridges and roads, dangerous multi-day voyage is likely and travel will become impossible and potentially life-threatening,” the National Meteorological Service’s warning read, adding that “travel is highly recommended” on Feb.15 and 16. February.
The NWS recommends that people stay indoors as much as possible to avoid dangerous travel conditions.
The Texas Department of Transportation has published the following safety guidelines for drivers:
- Slow it down. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
- Maintain at least three times the normal chasing distance on snow or ice.
- Pay close attention to snow removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows.
- Be especially careful around bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as these will freeze first.
- If your vehicle starts to slip, release the accelerator or the brakes. Steer towards the skid until you regain traction. Then straighten your vehicle.
Electricity and natural gas companies monitor usage and general network conditions before possible power outages.
It is recommended that people cover outer pipes and bring pets and plants. Vehicles should also be prepared for driving in winter in case people need to go out.
“Make sure you have enough food and water to weather this cold winter weather. Prepare for blackouts by stocking up on firewood, flashlights and batteries, ”said Prater.
We’re not kidding … Today is the last good day to prepare for a few days ago of wintry rainfall, DANGEROUS COLD TEMPS and dangerous travel conditions. It’s going downhill on Saturday evening. Here are a few memories! #GetReady North & Central TX. pic.twitter.com/dt2RmalU8L
– NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 12, 2021
According to the Prater, the last time the region had similarly low temperatures was 30 years ago.
“On February 4, 1996, we had 8 degrees and [minus] 1 degree on December 23, 1989, so it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen these low temperatures, ”she said.
The last time the region saw snowfall in the area forecast for the weekend was in 2011.
Many school districts in the region will be closed on February 15 for President Day. Parents should monitor the school websites for updates next week.
As part of the state declaration, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has activated several agencies to help in the coming days. The Texas Department of Transportation will prepare the area’s roads for winter weather and monitor road conditions.
Several agencies, including the Texas Highway Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Military Department, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will be available to assist stranded motorists.
The Texas Public Utility Commission will monitor power outages and capacity issues. In addition, the Texas Animal Health Commission will help with farm animals that may be affected by the freezing temperatures, according to a press release.