A winter weather advisory was issued Saturday afternoon until noon on Sunday. As temperatures continued to fall.
“We’re expecting them to continue to fall with some light freezing drizzle,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jesse Moore said. “Although the amounts are expected to be light, any ice at all will cause travel issues. That’s why we issued the winter weather advisory. Any freezing drizzle could cause some impact. There will be some on the power-lines but the amount is not expected to be high enough to cause any power outages.”
Moore, speaking from the NWS Fort Worth office, said the areas that are expected to be affected the most are from Cisco up through Denton toward Paris and northward toward Oklahoma.
“It’s a pretty decent sized area,” Moore said. “The main thing to remember when you’re driving tonight is to exercise extra caution and to be on the look out for patches of ice. It’s hard to see the ice when you’re approaching a bridge, so slow down. With this drizzle, that’s the biggest concern.”
This year’s New Year’s holiday is set to be a cold one. NWS meteorologist Jamie Gudmestad said the low will be around 24 degrees with a chance for freezing drizzle.
“There will be patchy drizzle overnight between midnight and 6 a.m.,” Gudmestad said. “There is a chance it might switch over to freezing drizzle. It shouldn’t be anything too thick but people will still want to exercise caution on roadways especially on overpasses and elevated surfaces.”
Gudmestad encouraged people to drive with caution and avoid driving when possible. Although there is likely to be only light accumulation, she explained it can still make for slick road conditions. If you have to drive, Gudmestad said to drive slower and be alert.
Gudmestad said any wet conditions should be done by noon tomorrow. The rest of the holiday will be dry but temperatures will not reach above freezing for 48 hours.
“The high tomorrow will only be 29 degrees Fahrenheit,” Gudmestad said. “Twelve or thirteen degrees will be the lowest actual temperatures for tomorrow. The wind chill tomorrow night will get down to -2 or -3 degrees. That’s what it’s going to feel like.”
Temperatures will remain cold into New Year’s Day. Gudmestad explained these cold temperatures are not unusual for North Texas during December and January. She reminded people to pay special attention to those people, animals and things that are weather sensitive.
“Remember pipes, pets, people and plants,” Gudmestad said. “Remember to take extra care of any people in your family that are sensitive to weather extremes.”
The Texas Department of Transportation Paris District Public Information Officer Tim McAlavy released a statement Saturday stating TxDOT is monitoring the weather and will be treating roads in the Paris District. The Paris District includes the state transportation system in the following counties — Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Rains and Red River.
McAlavy said TxDOT began pre-treating the roads earlier this week.
“Drivers may notice what looks like white lines on the roadways,” McAlavy said. “This is brine — a type of salt but it’s not table salt it’s a magnesium chloride solution. Contrary to popular myth it will not hurt your car.”
McAlavy explained TxDOT is on weather alert until the weather passes. Maintenance crews in all nine counties will be out assessing the situation tonight.
“As soon as the precipitation starts they are going to do a second brine treatment on the roadways that have a history of freezing,” McAlavy said. “Those are primarily elevated roadways. Those structures accumulate ice first because the deck is not in contact with the ground. Those road decks that are raised in the air get colder than the road decks that are in contact with the earth.”
McAlavy warned drivers not to go out unless absolutely necessary. Those that will be driving in the inclement weather are cautioned to go slowly and make sure things like windshield wipers are working on their car before leaving the house.
“Allow yourself more time and do not get in a hurry,” McAlavy said. “If you see our trucks with the flashing orange lights slow down and stay back and give those guys room to work, please.”
McAlavy went on to warn those who have to drive to slow down and check http://www.drivetexas.org often. The website provides and interactive map that shows road closures and construction statewide.