Freezing rain causes icys roads across Dallas-Fort Worth early Saturday ahead of major winter storm
This story will be updated during the day.
Freezing rain and drizzle caused icy road conditions in Dallas-Fort Worth on early Saturday and set the stage for a big snow storm.
Although no significant accumulations were expected, the National Weather Service warned of icy or slippery roads in some areas.
On Saturday at 7 a.m., about 0.04 inches of ice was recorded at Love Field Airport and 0.03 inches of ice at DFW International Airport, according to weather service meteorologist David Bonnette.
The Fort Worth Police Department urged motorists to be careful and exercise caution.
“Officials are reporting slippery roads across the city,” the department wrote on Twitter.
About 0.02 inches of ice was recorded in Fort Worth early Wednesday when six people were killed in a pile of 133 vehicles.
At around 9 a.m. on Saturday, traffic cameras showed an accident on one of the high five ramps at the intersection of Interstate 635 and US Highway 75.
The weather service warned that road conditions could deteriorate further late on Saturday, with sleet being possible at night, which could then turn into snow on Sunday.
The main event is expected Sunday through Monday, when Dallas-Fort Worth can see 3 to 7 inches of snow, according to the weather service. The heaviest snow can occur between 6 p.m. Sunday and midnight.
Before the storm, the Meteorological Service issued a winter storm warning for all of northern Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area and neighboring counties. The clock is in effect from Saturday to Monday evening.
Here’s the latest for Sunday’s winter storm and next week’s extremely cold and dangerous temperatures.
Please avoid traveling this morning as freezing drizzle has resulted in slippery conditions and black ice on many roads in the area! #txwx #dfwwx #ctxwx pic.twitter.com/KhJbBILcfh
– NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 13, 2021
“Travel could be very difficult,” the weather service said in a statement. “The heavy snowfall and the predicted long duration of extremely cold temperatures will likely result in heavy loads on the region’s infrastructure and crippling trips for several days.”
Although the snow is expected to wear off on Monday, northern Texas is set to single-digit lows on Monday and Tuesday and wind chill readings could drop below zero degrees, the weather service warned.
“Preparations to protect life and property should be accelerated to completion,” the weather service said in a statement. “Prepare for power outages and have non-perishable food and water ready. Do not travel unless it is an emergency. If you do need to travel, keep an extra blanket, flashlight, groceries and water in your vehicle in case you get stranded. “
Before the storm, Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all Texas counties on Friday. The Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Military Department and other agencies were deployed to assist with the storm response.
Abbott scheduled a press conference on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Austin to update on the winter storm.
With high energy demands expected, the Railroad Commission of Texas changed one of its rules on Friday to give priority to private gas customers.
“The Commission took this action to prioritize the protection of public health and safety during this extreme weather event,” the commission said in a statement.
According to KXAS-TV (NBC5) weather anchor Keisha Burns, North Texas is not expected to be above freezing until Friday.
After a break from Tuesday’s snowfall, Dallas-Fort Worth could get another round on Wednesday, Burns said.
The total number of midweek snowfalls was still uncertain, but some accumulations could “potentially be significant,” the weather service said in a forecast update.
By next week, North Texas was potentially more than 200 hours below freezing, hitting the record high for most consecutive hours below freezing.
The record in North Texas was set December 18-30, 1983, when the area spent 295 hours below 32 degrees, the weather service said.