Winter weather advisory lifted in Fort Worth; 2-5 inches accumulate farther south

The winter weather advisory issued for North Texas was canceled in the Metroplex about six hours earlier than expected Tuesday, as light snow flurries dissipated by 3 p.m.

The advisory was initially supposed to run through 9 p.m., but the heaviest snow Tuesday stayed well south of Tarrant County.

The potential for severe weather, however, caused 100 flights to be canceled Tuesday at DFW Airport, said Tim Smith, spokesman for American Airlines.

Thirty-three American flights and 75 more for American Eagle were canceled "out of an abundance of caution," but passengers were offered other flights to reach their destinations, he said.

Those alterations were easily made because Tuesday is typically the slowest day of the week for the two airlines, he said. Operations were running smoothly Tuesday afternoon, he said.

An inch of snow was recorded at Weatherford, but there were various measurements in Fort Worth, ranging from 1 inch to .10 at DFW Airport, according to data from the National Weather Service.

"The ground is pretty warm," said Dan Huckaby, a weather service meteorologist in Fort Worth. "Without moderate snow falling, it's pretty easy to melt off a meager accumulation like that."

Other snow totals were 2 inches at Burleson and 3 at Midlothian, according to the weather service.

The 9 p.m. deadline, however, was still posted for areas along a line from Cisco, east to Athens which got a lot more snow, said Amber Elliott, another weather service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

Areas south of Waco, however, got a much heavier dusting; 2 inches were recorded at Temple and Killeen, the weather service said.

But 5 inches accumulated about 100 miles east of Waco at Elkhart in Anderson County where some roads were covered, Elliott said.

Commuters in Tarrant County experienced no major delays Tuesday, although Parker County motorists were reporting heavier snowfall and some slush.

Schools were closed in Mineral Wells and Springtown, and the Azle school district announced that it would delay the start of classes until 10 a.m. The Fort Worth and Arlington school districts were open.

No ice was yet reported Tuesday in the nine-county Fort Worth district of the Texas Department of Transportation.

But road crews planned to keep monitoring surfaces Tuesday night in case any snow melt freezes, said Michael Peters, TxDOT spokesman in Fort Worth.

He noted that roads were dry in eastern Tarrant County, but wet on the west side. The mercury is expected to dip below freezing tonight, according to the forecast.

There were 26 city road crews standing by with trucks filled with sand and salt, but they were not needed, said Kevin Neal, spokesman for the Fort Worth streets department.

The light snowfall in North Texas Tuesday prevented the 2 more inches needed to break a record for the snowiest winter on record in the region.

The record 12.5 inches Feb. 12, the most snow ever for a 24-hour period, brought the area to 15.7 inches of snow this winter -- second to the 17.6 inches recorded in 1977-78.

However, Jesse Moore, another weather service meteorologist, said conditions created by the El Niño phenomenon could make for more snow this winter, and possibly as late as March.

There will be decreasing clouds Tuesday night, but it will be much colder, around 28 degrees, the weather service said.

Wednesday will be bright and sunny with temperatures warming to 50, and a nighttime low of 31, the weather service said.

Thursday will be mostly sunny with the warmest day of the week -- about 60 degrees.

There will be a 30-percent chance for showers on Friday, with a high around 51 degrees, the weather service said.

Saturday will be partly sunny and about 56 degrees. Sunday holds a 40-percent chance for rain and a high near 51, the weather service said.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram