Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
A blast of arctic air is headed for Texas, promising at least days of subfreezing temperatures and wintry precipitation in much of northern and western Texas.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning that goes into effect starting Thursday at 6 p.m. and lasting for 24 hours.
The NWS said intense arctic cold front that entered the Texas Panhandle on Wednesday and moved over West Texas and North Texas on Thursday. Friday and Saturday temperatures are expected to reach only the teens in the Panhandle and 20s in much of West and parts of North Texas.
Freezing rain is expected northwest of a Sulphur Springs-to-Waxahachie-to-Goldthwaite line Friday, with temperatures remaining below freezing in North and West Texas until Sunday.
Freezing rain accumulations in the Metroplex will be between 0.25″ and 0.5″, with accumulations greater than an inch north of Dallas and Tarrant Counties.
Freezing rain will begin after noon to the north and west, eventually spreading into the Metroplex by 4 p.m. and continue through the evening hours. Heaviest precip should fall between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Friday.
Any precip that falls will remain frozen on the ground throughout the weekend as temperatures remain below freezing until Sunday.
The winter storm is already affecting weekend plans for the Metroplex, and several holiday events and state championship football games have already been postponed as a precaution due to the winter weather.
Officials moved the Poteet vs. Ennis playoff game from Friday to Thursday because of the inclement weather, and while all 200 Poteet band members will ride the bus to Dallas’ Kincaid Stadium, only a few may play.
“This is not going to be fun,” said Cody Newman, the school’s band director. “It’s going to be cold, wet and rainy, and that doesn’t mix well with musical instruments generally.”
DART will have more than a dozen extra trains running in and out of downtown Dallas on Saturday for the Children’s parade. If the rain turns to ice, DART officials say its buses and trains will likely be late.
TXDOT and all the cities with sanding trucks will have them ready to tackle the icy roads.
“I’m learning to say, not one layer, not two layers, three layers and you’ll be OK,” said Brett Generes, a DART commuter.
Layers will be lifesavers on Sunday as thousands of runners and spectators line potentially icy streets for the Dallas Marathon.
Dallas Fire Rescue will have more than 50 medics throughout the course to help anyone not prepared for the cold.
“The last thing you want to have happen is to get out there to watch the marathon with limited resources, mainly clothing, and get stuck in a situation where you can’t get warm and you have to seek refuge,” said Jason Evans with Dallas Fire Rescue.
Ahead of the winter storm, Gov. Perry has activated the Texas military forces with 20 vehicles and more than 50 people to stage north in Wichita Falls and Sherman Thursday.
The Department of Public Safety urges people not to travel or drive long distances unless absolutely necessary, and make sure to have an emergency kit and plenty of gas in case you get stranded.
Those with air travel plans should call the airline ahead of time. American Airlines will waive ticket change fees for flights to, through and from DFW and parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Several other airlines also have some accommodations procedures in place.
American Airlines has already canceled hundreds of flights system wide over the next two days because of the winter storm.
Oncor said it is making preparations for possible power outages due to ice on the lines and fallen trees. The latter is a big concern because heavy ice could topple trees that were weakened by the Texas drought.