Highway department prepping area roads in advance of possible winter mix Friday
There’s a slight chance you’ll see snow flurries Friday morning, but the weather is guaranteed to be cold.
Low temperatures Friday morning are expected to dip into the low 20s — with wind chills in the low teens — as an arctic front moves across North Texas. With the front comes a 30 percent chance of light snow in Dallas-Fort Worth, while areas to the north and northwest could see up to an inch.
“We’re only getting the weak portion of the system,” said Dennis Cain, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. “We’re not expecting a lot of snow here; shouldn’t be a big headache for people in DFW.”
Even so, workers with the Texas Department of Transportation have been pre-treating the roads with brine, a saltwater mixture that will help stop ice from bonding to the road, department spokesman Val Lopez said in Fort Worth.
The department will monitor the weather, and if the roads are slick Friday, crews will be working around the clock to make them safe, Lopez said.
While Friday’s projected low will be one of the lowest temperatures of this winter — it was 17 degrees on Dec. 18 and 16 on Dec. 19 — Saturday morning is expected to be 15 degrees, which would be the lowest reading at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport since Jan. 6, 2014, when it was also 15.
If it does snow it will likely stick around for the day because the high temperature Friday is only expected to be 27 degrees.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also is urging residents to be safe on the road and at home.
“It is important to remember that winter weather threats can emerge quickly, including low temperatures and freezing precipitation, which can endanger Texans if they’re not prepared,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a news release. “DPS is calling on individuals to monitor weather and take the necessary steps to stay safe and avoid hazardous conditions posed by any possible weather threats this week and throughout this winter season.”
Texans can call 211, the state’s free 24-hour help line, to check on possible community-established warming centers or related services in their area.
Sunday’s low temperature is expected to be 21 degrees before things began to warm up. The forecast calls for a high Monday of 63 degrees, warming to a balmy 70 degrees on Tuesday.
The warmer weather “may continue for several days,” Cain said.
Cold weather tips
Driving in winter weather
- Drive slowly on icy roads; remember to add more distance required for stopping and avoid using cruise control.
- Watch for downed trees and power lines.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and keep your gas tank full.
- Check the battery, windshield wipers, tire pressure and tread, and fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks.
- Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle, including blankets, extra clothing, flashlight, first aid kit, pocketknife, nonperishable food and bottled water, bag of sand for tire traction, windshield scraper, tool kit, jumper cables, tow rope and shovel.
- Avoid traveling in sleet, freezing rain or snow if possible.
Keeping your home warm
- Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
- Make sure furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good condition.
- Make sure pets and livestock have proper shelter and an emergency supply of food and water.
- Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods and bottled water.
- If you will be away from home for a while, set the thermostat to 55 degrees or higher and open cabinets under sinks.
- Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk from cold weather.
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety