It may not make anybody feel warmer, but the arctic air mass that arrived overnight Saturday and led to winter weather and wind chill advisories Sunday didn’t come close to breaking any temperature records.
The low on Sunday was 27 degrees — 14 degrees warmer than the record of 13, which was set in 1976 and tied in 1990. Sunday’s high of 35 was also warmer than the record of 25, set in 1946.
The wintry conditions did leave some roadways slick early Sunday, contributing at least in part to more than 100 injury crashes around Tarrant County and too many minor crashes for police to work.
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Between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. MedStar responded to 170 car crashes with injuries, 26 rollover crashes, 23 calls for falls on ice and one exposure call, spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.
Fort Worth police spokesman Daniel Segura said there were also scores of smaller crashes that officers could not get to because of the sheer volume.
At least two area police officers had close calls. A Fort Worth officer was hit by a sliding car after he slipped fell, but did not require medical attention.
And Hurst police posted dashcam video showing one of their officers eluding a sliding car just before it hit the back of a disabled vehicle. That officer was also not seriously injured.
At least three of Sunday’s crashes involved fire engines that were out responding to other accidents.
Meanwhile, homeless shelters were at close to their capacity, representatives said Sunday.
Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, which operates 24 hours a day, was near its cold-weather capacity of 56 men and 16 women. Arlington Life Shelter, which is normally open to residents from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., was in a similar spot, nearing its 95-person capacity.
“It’s about 8:30 p.m. and we only have two spots left,” said Azure Gabriel, a resident assistant at the Arlington shelter. “Since we’re a night shelter, it will be up to our executive to make the decision if we stay open throughout the day on Monday since the weather will still be very cold.”
A day after the weather service recorded a trace of snow at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the first day of 2018 promises to be a frigid one, with highs below freezing across DFW.
A wind chill advisory for counties north and west of Fort Worth expires at noon. Weatherford and Denton are among the affected areas, where the wind chill will be below zero. Elsewhere in North Texas, the wind chill was expected to be in the single digits or teens Monday morning.
“And maybe in more of the rural areas, the temperatures could feel much lower,” weather service meteorologist Patricia Sanchez said.
Heading into New Year’s Day, Zavadsky said Medstar would be fully staffed with about 45 ambulances.
But he urged residents to go outside only if necessary.
“It’ll be one of the coldest days of the year,” said Zavadsky. “It would be best for residents to enjoy a great day of football on TV on New Year’s Day and stay at home with family until the temperatures rise again.”
Temperatures are expected to rise as the first week of the New Year progresses, starting Tuesday with lows around 17 and highs in the lower 30s. On Wednesday temperatures the low will be around 20 and the high in the low 40s.
“However, some areas might still be in the upper teens on Wednesday morning, but highs will still top out in the low 40s,” said Sanchez.
Thursday’s weather will start off with lows in the 20s and top out with highs in the low 40s.