Winter storm hits North Texas with sleet, forces closures



Posted on March 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 2 at 8:32 PM

Precipitation has ended in the immediate Dallas-Fort Worth area, but a  Winter Storm Warning  continues through 9 p.m. Sunday for most of NorthTexas. Sleet could accumulate up to a half-inch in some locations, and because it is colder than initially forecast, that sleet could build up on road surfaces beyond bridges and overpasses. Check here through the evening for updates throughout the day.

7:19p: The Dallas Independent School district just tweeted: "At this time, please expect a regular school day for Dallas ISD." They'll let us know if anything changes... sorry, kids!  - WFAA

7:15p: Temperatures are hovering around 20 degrees at most reporting stations in North Texas, with wind chill readings in the single digits across the region. Precipitation has ended in Dallas-Fort Worth, except for flurries at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. - National Weather Service

7:11p: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking you to limit power use as much as possible on Monday morning. That's because ERCOT is anticipating high demand as temperatures across the region plunge into the teens, with wind chill readings below zero in many locations. The agency suggests that thermostats be set no higher than 68 degrees; avoid running power-hungry appliances like washers, dryers and electric ovens; and turn off non-essential lights and appliances. - WFAA

6:53p: More than three dozen North Texas school districts — including Celina, Farmersville, Forney, Gainesville, Greenville, Kaufman, Sherman, Valley View and Van Alstyne — have announced they will be closed on Monday because of the icy conditions. Click here for the complete list of closings and delayed openings. - WFAA

6:08p: Wind chill readings have already dropped into the single digits at most North Texas reporting stations, and are expected to drop below zero at many locations overnight as strong northwest winds buffet the region. - National Weather Service

5:44p: Airlines canceled more than 325 departures at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sunday as a result of the frosty weather; that's about one-third of the regular schedule. Most aircraft required a deicing procedure before takeoff. Airport spokesman David Magaña said the facility remained fully operational during the day, and he told WFAA that officials expect a "relatively small" number of passengers will have to be accommodated overnight. Magaña said the airport's goal is to resume normal operations on Monday.  Dallas Love Field reported a small number of flights affected by the icy weather on Sunday. - WFAA

5:33p: Precipitation should be ending across North Texas over the next 30 minutes, but the low temperature overnight will approach a record low. - Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus

5:09p: Temps are in the low 20s or upper teens across North Texas, with most stations reporting some type of precipitation: Sleet, freezing rain, light snow, freezing drizzle, or flurries. - National Weather Service

4:59p: More than a dozen North Texas school districts have already announced closings or delays on Monday; click here for the full list. - WFAA

3:56p: The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory from midnight Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday. It will feel between 0 and -5 degrees after midnight. Bundle up! - National Weather Service

3:49p: Arlington police say weather conditions may have played a role in a fatal accident on Highway 287 near the Interstate 20 exit. The driver of a disabled pickup truck was struck and killed after a second vehicle lost control on an overpass and hit the driver (who had exited his truck) and the disabled pickup. the driver of the second vehicle was hospitalized, but is expected to survive. Northbound lanes of Highway 287 ahead of Little Road were closed during the investigation and cleanup. - Arlington Police Department

3:44p: The overpass at Interstate 20 and Spur 408 where Dallas firefighter Scott Tanksley died February 10 in an ice-related accident has been closed due to dangerous conditions. - WFAA

3:29p: The Dallas Zoo closed early Sunday afternoon due to the inclement weather. - WFAA

3:05p: Light snow and freezing drizzle is being reported across North Texas, with temperatures ranging from 17 at two locations in Fort Worth to 25 in Grand Prairie and Mesquite. - National Weather Service

2:57p: Traffic has slowed to a crawl on many roads and highways in North Texas as an icy layer builds up. - WFAA

1:35p: A mix of rain, freezing rain, and sleet has already begun in Arlington. Sand trucks are en route to the Highway 360 and Interstate 20 bridges. - Arlington Fire Department

1:01p: The temperature has dipped to 19 degrees in Denton; it's 21 at Fort Worth Alliance Airport. - National Weather Service

12:58p: Legacy Drive near the  Dallas North Tollway in Plano is icing over with a slushy buildup. I tested braking (in a safe area) and my car was slipping. If you must drive, e sure to maintain extra distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. - Walt Zwirko,

12:19p: There have been 104 accidents reported in Fort Worth in just the last two hours. - WFAA

12:15p: Weather is affecting flights at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. If you're scheduled to depart or arrive today, please check your flight status with your airline.- DFW Airport

12:09p: On the drive from Allen to Dallas, roads were wet and very cold in Collin County, but still reasonably dry in Dallas (for now). My car parked outside in Allen did ice over very quickly this morning, requiring a scraper to clear the windshield. - Sandra Turner, WFAA

12:07p: Just heard the rumble of thundersleet over Little Elm in southern Denton County. There is a thin but dangerous veneer of icy buildup on road surfaces as sleet continues to fall and the temperature has dipped to 24 degrees. - Walt Zwirko,

11:37a: The National Weather Service has expanded a Winter Storm Warning to include the Dallas-Fort Worth area through 9 p.m. Sunday. The warning includes Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, Rockwall, Kaufman, Johnson and Ellis counties.  - National Weather Service

11:25a: There's a report of thunder sleet in Denton. Accumulating sleet and additional freezing rain will continue until this evening. - National Weather Service

11:15a: Accumulations of sleet are likely later this afternoon; a Winter Storm Warning may be expanded to include the Dallas-Fort Worth area. - WFAA

11:02a: The National Weather Service reports freezing drizzle at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport,  light snow at Fort Worth Meacham Airport, and freezing rain at Fort Worth Alliance Airport and in Arlington. - National Weather Service

11a: Snow, sleet and freezing rain is falling in northern Tarrant and southern Denton counties. We're getting reports of slick roads and highways and some accidents. - WFAA

10:41a: DART says it is operating its regular Sunday service, and will be monitoring weather conditions for any changes. - DART

10a: Freezing rain is reported at the Meacham Airport, Spinks Airport and Alliance Airport reporting stations. Temperatures are below freezing across the region, with Denton already checking in at 23 degrees. - National Weather Service

9:40a Texas Department of Transportation crews are already pre-treating road surfaces in Denton and Collin Counties; they could begin sanding operations on Sunday afternoon. - WFAA

9:10a: Very light rain and freezing rain is already falling across parts of North Texas. Thundersleet? Don't be surprised if you hear some thunder while sleet is falling during the day Sunday due to instability in the atmosphere. - WFAA meteorologist Julie Bologna

9:06a: The City of Dallas will launch its Ice Force Level 1 sanding operations at noon Sunday, with 35 trucks and 100 personnel keeping an eye on bridges, overpasses and inclines. - City of Dallas

9:03a:  This will not be "icemageddon" and will not be anything close to December's ice storm. It will be darn cold, though!  The most likely time for frozen precipitation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be between 3 and 7 p.m. - WFAA Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus

8:51a: DART light rail is delayed due to ice buildup on overhead power lines. Buses are shuttling passengers between the Bachman and University of Dallas stations and the Hatcher and Lawnview stations. - DART

8:47a: Temperatures have fallen below freezing already across much of North Texas and points north and west. The precipitation is too light to bring down the warmth from aloft, so the majority of our precipitation will fall in the form of freezing rain/freezing drizzle and sleet today. The main positive aspect of this event is that it will not have anywhere near the impact of our December storm. Total precipitation amounts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — which would include the rain, freezing rain, and sleet — will be less than 0.33" by Sunday evening. But as we all know, it does not take much to make for slick travel, especially on the bridges and overpasses.

We will have freezing rain and freezing drizzle on and off through early afternoon. The worst of the frozen precipitation will occur between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. We will have been below freezing for 8 hours or so by then, and that is the time frame when elevated roads will become most problematic.

The hardest hit area will be northeast Texas into southeast Oklahoma,  where up to half an inch of ice and half an inch of sleet are expected. Ice accumulations in Dallas-Fort Worth will range from only 0.01" to 0.15" with the higher amounts in northeast sections. Total sleet accumulations will be less than 0.25" with a little higher totals in northern Collin County.

We will probably stay below freezing until Tuesday, mid morning. It is hoped that the gusty and dry north winds tonight will evaporate (or more technically, sublimate) the ice away from the roads. Wind chills will stay in the teens today and drop to near zero by morning. - WFAA meteorologist Steve McCauley