5 things to know about the impending Texas winter storm
Wintry conditions are forecast for Wednesday night and continue through the week.
Update: Updated 9:30 p.m. Feb. 1 to include updated forecast information.
A winter storm warning has been issued for most of North and Central Texas ahead of an arctic blast that will drop temperatures and dump ice onto the region by midweek.
Here’s what you need to know about the impending winter weather.
Winter storm warning
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Tuesday evening for most of North and Central Texas. The watch is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday.
Storm warnings are issued when the weather service highly expects significant weather such as snow, ice, sleet or a combination of those elements.
In North Texas, significant snowfall, ice or freezing rain can trigger a winter storm warning, according to the weather service’s Dallas-Fort Worth office.
Rain, then sleet, then snow
Rain is expected to start early Wednesday morning and continue into the evening before turning into ice and a wintry mix overnight as temperatures fall. Some snow is possible Thursday morning, the forecast says.
The weather service anticipates up to 0.8 inches of sleet in Dallas and 1.4 inches in Fort Worth, according to a Tuesday evening forecast.
Areas northwest of DFW, such as Montague and Jack counties, could see up to 3 inches of snow.
Driving will become hazardous Wednesday night, and roadways, especially elevated roads such as overpasses and bridges, may ice over. Ice may also accumulate on trees and power lines, causing outages, the weather service said.
Impact on travel may continue through Friday.
Dangerous wind chills
The weather service said dangerous wind chills between minus 5 and 15 degrees are possible Friday through Saturday.
Low temperatures will be in the teens, and a warmup is not expected until Saturday.
Not like last year’s February winter storm
Jason Godwin, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, said the weather service does not anticipate a repeat of last year’s winter storm.
Temperatures will not be as low and they won’t stay low for long, the weather service said. Freezing temperatures will last about 48 hours, unlike last year’s 139-hour freeze.
However, travel will be more treacherous this year compared with last year because of the likelihood of ice forming on roadways.
The forecast conditions could cause roadways — especially bridges and overpasses — to become slick, and the weather service encouraged drivers to modify travel plans and exercise caution as temperatures drop.
Stay weather-aware and prepare
The weather service advised people to take action and prepare ahead of the storm. It said people should winterize their homes, stock up on nonperishable foods and water and have light or electricity sources available in case of a power outage.
Pets should be kept inside, and people should check on vulnerable neighbors, family or friends throughout the storm, according to the weather service and the American Red Cross.
The weather service also encouraged people to be weather-aware and mind the forecast throughout the week because conditions may change. Have multiple ways to get weather warnings, it said, such as apps, radio or TV.
While travel is not recommended during the storm, people who must leave their homes should dress in warm layers and exercise caution while driving. The Dallas Office of Emergency Management said drivers should keep a supply of water, snacks, power banks, tools, blankets, jumper cables and emergency signals in their cars.