When will North Texas get out of this freeze? Here’s what the weekend’s forecast tells us
Temperatures should rise above freezing Thursday morning, said meteorologist Victor Murphy at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Still, “significant” ice accumulations are expected, which could result in power outages, broken trees and impassable roads.
“Since the cold air layer above us is so shallow, less than 3,000 feet, we expect freezing rain to continue overnight. Sometime tomorrow morning, we expect surface temperatures to warm above freezing, and the liquid rain will stop freezing upon contact with exposed surfaces,” Murphy said. “In essence, we’re awaiting the lower 3,000 feet of the atmosphere to warm above freezing. This will end the freezing rain. Yesterday, the warm layer above freezing wasn’t as thick, and so all the precipitation we saw was in the form of sleet.”
Temperatures first dropped below freezing at 9 p.m. on Sunday in Dallas-Fort Worth. Assuming that temperatures go above freezing about 9 a.m. Thursday, that would be 84 consecutive hours below freezing. Back in 2021, DFW had 139 consecutive hours below freezing between Feb. 13 and 19, the fifth most consecutive hours below freezing.
“Slushy roads will persist well after temperatures get above freezing,” according to NWS Fort Worth.
Freezing rain is expected to fall on Wednesday afternoon and evening, Murphy said, which could be more dangerous than the sleet we’ve gotten so far. Because roads are icy and slick across North and Central Texas, NWS cautions travel should be avoided if possible through early Thursday. As the ice melts, road conditions will start to improve around noon Thursday and travel impacts will be minimal at approximately 3 p.m.
“If you have to be out on the roads, make sure to slow down, watch for ice/black ice, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination,” NWS Fort Worth said. Try to avoid hills, bridges and overpasses, where ice accumulates.
An ice storm warning is in effect for DFW because of a half inch of additional ice accumulation expected Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday, which could result in tree breakage and localized power outages in addition to the hazardous travel conditions. Prepare for potential power outages by bundling up and making sure you have flashlights, batteries and a safe indoor heat source.
Freezing rain will transition to regular rain into midday Thursday, when a rain-snow mix will be possible across North Texas.
Drier air will move into North and Central Texas by Friday, per NWS, which should allow for lots of sunshine and temperatures warming into the 40s. For those who receive significant ice, sleet or snow accumulation, the ice will not fully melt Thursday, so those areas will be slower to warm up. A clear night with light wind is expected Friday, with temperatures again falling below freezing. Some ground fog is also likely in areas with wet soils due to slow-melting ice.
This weekend, the weather will warm up, with afternoon highs climbing about 5-10 degrees warmer each day. Another cold front is expected midweek next week.