This North Texas winter is one for the books

02/28/2014 11:50 AM

02/28/2014 11:58 AM

Don’t let those 80-degree highs on Friday and Saturday fool you.

Winter isn’t ready to go away just yet.

By Monday morning, temperatures will drop into the low 20s and on Tuesday morning, forecasters expect it to be in the mid-20s.

That would be enough to tie the Fort Worth area with the winter of 1911-1912 for the sixth-most number of freezes on record — 53. And it’ll be the most freezes in 34 years since the all-time record of 62 for a season was set during the winter of 1977-78.

There’s no guarantee this will be the last cold snap, either.

Another cold front will move through the area next weekend that could bring freezing temperatures to parts of North Texas.

“You know March is a crazy month,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris. “It’s the start of the transition between winter and spring. You can call it a roller-coaster ride or you can call it a seesaw. We tend to go back and forth.”

The average last freeze in the DFW area is March 13 but the latest freeze on record was recorded on April 13 in 1957.

The next round of frigid weather isn’t expected to cause serious headaches for drivers simply because the ground will be so warm from the 80-degree highs on Friday and Saturday. By the time it gets cold enough, the freezing drizzle should be over.

“Right now, it’s not looking like a major problem,” Harris said. “The roads are going to be pretty warm. It would take about six hours at 25 degrees before the freezing drizzle would have an impact. There is a little sleet expected north of the Red River north of Paris and Bonham.”

Jesse Moore, another weather service meteorologist, said areas north and northwest of the Metroplex could see freezing rain or drizzle during the day, but it’s not expected to get below freezing until after sundown in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

And, he added, precipitation is expected to subside before then.

“We could see anywhere from a quarter of an inch to three-quarters of an inch,” Harris said.

But as much as freezing temperatures are getting attention, Harris said, the lack of rain is a serious concern.

“If we don't get enough rain on Sunday, we're going to be hurting,” Harris said. “We need two feet of water to fill up reservoirs and that’s not going to happen.

“We really need some rain up near Jacksboro to get into the headwaters of the Trinity. That area up through Wichita Falls, Montague County and back to the west really needs some rain.”

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