Get ready, North Texas: Sleet on the way for Sunday, Monday

11/22/2013 11:24 AM

11/23/2013 9:09 AM

Two big high school football games were postponed Friday night as roads conditions got worse in areas west of Tarrant County.

The National Weather Service urged travelers to be wary of elevated bridges and overpasses in Palo Pinto, Parker and Wise counties.

At 6 p.m., Fort Worth was damp and cold with drizzling rain and temperatures in the mid-30s. There were no reports of treacherous road surfaces, but there were reports of ice forming on tree branches and cars in the western counties.

The potential for slick roads was expected to increase after sundown in those counties as temperatures were about to dip into the 20s, said Jennifer Dunn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Areas in far northwest Tarrant County and the counties west of the Metroplex were already at freezing by 4 p.m., Dunn said.

“It is possible for those areas to have some icing on elevated surfaces,” she said. “Any rain overnight could definitely be freezing rain.

“So, no matter what, proceed with caution if you’re out and about this evening.”

School districts weren’t taking any chances and postponed two key area second-round playoff games. The Everman Bulldogs will now play the Wichita Falls Coyotes at 2 p.m. today in Saginaw. The matchup between the Glen Rose Tigers and the Graham Steers will be at 1 p.m. today in Mineral Wells.

There will be a slight reprieve from the weather today, when the forecast is for only a 20 percent chance of rain or sleet before noon and a high temperature of about 40, the weather service said.

But the weather service issued a winter storm watch to remain in effect from Sunday morning until midday Monday in anticipation of sleet and ice accumulations.

“It will not turn drastically colder like it did Friday, but temperatures will drop a few degrees, giving us a chance for some freezing rain,” said Greg Patrick, another NWS meteorologist in Fort Worth.

There is an 80 percent chance of sleet all day Sunday and after midnight. Sleet is also likely Monday morning with precipitation chances hovering around 70 percent.

If road hazards develop, state transportation department crews are prepared to tap into stockpiles of chat, a sand-salt mixture, and salt-based de-icers, said Val Lopez, a TxDOT spokesman in Fort Worth.

“That Monday morning rush hour could be a little treacherous,” Patrick said. “There’s a chance at least some of the elevated roads could be slick from freezing rain and sleet from Sunday and Monday morning. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

But, he said, “I think by Monday afternoon, any ice on the roads should melt as temperatures increase to the high 30s.”

By Tuesday, the chance of rain should decrease to 20 percent, and skies are expected to clear by Tuesday evening, with highs reaching the 40s. Skies should be mostly clear by Wednesday, and the sun is expected back in the forecast by Thanksgiving Day.

“On Thanksgiving Day, we’re calling for warming skies and highs in the lower 50s,” Patrick said.

Staff writer Mitch Miller contributed to this report.

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