Dallas-Fort Worth prepares for ‘major winter wallop’ that could dump up to 6 inches of snow
The North Texans were preparing for what may be the largest snow storm in the region in years on Friday.
The National Weather Service released a winter storm clock for all of North Texas late Saturday through Monday. The watch – which includes counties of Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant – warned that North Texas could see Sunday night through Monday morning “blizzard conditions” with snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches.
“Travel could be difficult and life-threatening,” the weather service said in a statement. “Precautions should be taken now to secure pipes and anything exposed to extreme cold. Have plenty of food and ways to stay warm during a power outage. “
According to Grant Johnston, a meteorologist for KXAS-TV (NBC5), North Texas could see a short round of a wintry mix late Saturday, but any buildup is expected to remain low.
Things can (and will) change. However, this is an early look at the snowfall potential for late Sunday through Monday. So yes, this map can be “optimized after tweeting” in subsequent model runs. 😆 It looks like there is significant snow going on for NTX. #NBCDFWWeather pic.twitter.com/whk5VPQS74
– Grant Johnston (@ GrantJNBC5) February 12, 2021
The main event is expected on late Sunday, when heavy, blowing snow can endanger driving conditions and when the wind chill can drop to -15 degrees, according to the weather service.
“You have to prepare for a big winter storm by the way it looks,” said Johnston. “We could talk around blizzard conditions with high winds, dangerous cold air, and accumulation … This looks like it is going to be a great winter whale.”
By early next week, the lows are projected to be in their teenage and single digits, and north Texas could see another round of snow on Wednesday, according to Johnston.
“Prepare a little more”
Across the region, some North Texans spent part of Friday preparing for a cold weekend.
Although she didn’t see herself as a panic buyer, Edith Huerta picked up some essentials at the El Rancho supermarket in Old East Dallas on Friday morning.
It has been more than five years since North Texas saw significant snowfall. Dallas-Fort Worth recorded 3.5 inches between March 4 and March 5, 2015, according to the Weather Service.
Snow covered downtown Dallas after a record snowfall on Thursday, March 5, 2015. Overnight, snow and sleet covered the region overnight, accumulating up to 2 to 5 inches over much of the area. (Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News) [ 2015 PUB – 2015MARCH ] 03072015xALDIA(Smiley N. Pool / Employee Photographer)
Daniell Chiveya said she remembered that last blizzard well – she had to move during it.
The move was only supposed to take a 20-minute drive through Dallas, but it took about 14 hours and finally ended around 2 a.m. on March 5, Chiveya said.
“It took me all day to drive,” said Chiveya.
While shopping for groceries on Friday morning, Chiveya said she felt ready for the blizzard this time – she had to be.
Chiveya is a nurse and is supposed to work on Monday morning. She plans to be there, even if it means leaving home two hours early for a trip that typically takes 10 minutes.
“I’ll take care of it,” said Chiveya. “If I don’t get there, my patients won’t get injections.”
Edith Huerta supplies herself with essential groceries on her way to the storm weekend in North Texas while shopping at Supermercado El Rancho on Gaston Avenue in Dallas on Thursday, February 11, 2021. A winter storm warning was issued for the North Texas region this weekend. (Lynda M. González / The Dallas Morning News)(Lynda M. González / employee photographer)
Chef James Roland, owner of Carver Park in northeast Dallas, was also more concerned with the work than the snow.
With most of the snow expected to fall on Sunday, Roland expects his business to thrive on Valentine’s Day – usually one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. Roland said he was also concerned about being able to drive to work after the snowfall.
“Monday is going to be a big day,” said Roland.
Roland, who picked up eggs and pasta for his restaurant on Friday morning, said he noticed some North Texans were already preparing for the blizzard
Almost every day of the week, Roland said he was picking up Tom Thumb off US Highway 75 and Meadow Road. Although there wasn’t a mad rush of panic buyers in the store on Friday, Roland noticed that some shelves were a little emptier than usual.
“In a sense, yes, you prepare a little more,” said Roland.
With temperatures not likely to be above freezing until the end of next week and with potentially more snow in the forecast on Wednesday, it may take some time for buildups to clear.
The weather service warned in a statement that travel could be difficult until mid to late next week.
Dallas-Fort Worth had been below freezing for 64 hours on Friday noon. The record for most consecutive hours below freezing in North Texas was set in 1983 when the area stayed 295 hours below 32 degrees from the morning of December 18 through the afternoon of December 30, according to the weather service.
COVID-19 Vaccine Hub Operations
Dallas County: The county Fair Park Vaccination Center is open only at certain times on Fridays from 2pm to 7pm. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkin tweeted around 12:30 p.m. that the center was opening a little earlier due to the better weather.
The county’s health department said in a tweet that the center will only vaccinate people who are due for their second dose on Friday. Only people who were scheduled for their second dose Monday through Thursday will be served in the center, the district said.
People who should get their second dose on Friday will be turned away when they show up on site today, the district said. If weather permits, the county said it would reopen on Sunday to vaccinate people who were due for their second dose on Friday.
Due to the unexpectedly better weather, we were able to open this morning. @Fairpark everything runs smoothly. We’re vaccinating second shots indoors today only for those whose second shot was due Monday through Thursday. We have heated buses to take you from your car to the building. 🇺🇸
– Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) February 12, 2021
Tarrant County: Tarrant County Public Health announced in a tweet Wednesday evening that vaccination clinics will be open to people with scheduled appointments on Friday. COVID-19 test sites are closed Friday through Monday.
Collin County: Vaccine appointments originally scheduled for Friday at Plano’s John Clark Stadium have been postponed, according to the county. Affected patients will be contacted by Curative Medical Associates. The Collin County government offices have a late opening at 10 a.m. Friday.
Denton County: The county tweeted Tuesday that the county vaccination clinic at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth would only be open by appointment from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The vaccinations originally planned for Thursday have been postponed to Friday, the district said.
Parkland Health & Hospital System: The vaccination stations at Ellis Davis Field House and Eastfield Community College in Mesquite would be closed Thursday through Monday, the hospital said. Individuals with appointments for these locations should go to Parkland Memorial Hospital at their scheduled time, and anyone who couldn’t make it should be contacted by Parkland.
Testing sites at Sam Tasby Middle School in Dallas, the Irving Health Center, and the West Dallas Multipurpose Center were closed Thursday through Monday, Parkland said.