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Warmer, drier conditions expected over the weekend

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Sherman began to thaw out Friday following record-setting winter storms that inundated the region with snow and ice for most of the week.

Texoma residents can look forward to warmer temperatures and and a welcome melt off following record-setting winter storms this past week. Officials with the National Weather service said temperatures should remain above freezing for much of the weekend, giving the opportunity for snowy conditions to clear.

"It looks like we will have a warming trend over the next few days," Meteorologist Matt Bishop of the NWS Fort Worth field office said. "It will still be cold tonight, and we should drop well below freezing with temperatures in the 20s. However, tomorrow we should warm up into the mid 40s for the area."

"That should help start getting things melted after this disaster," Bishop said.

The warm-up comes following winter storms that brought record-low temperatures and snow and ice with them to most of the state. These unprecedented conditions led to widespread power outages and water woes for many Texans.

Bishop said the dry out should begin Friday, but temperatures would slide below freezing again Friday evening, leading to some refreezing.

"Roads will still be dangerous for the most part tonight," Bishop said. "This is especially true for the side roads and places that don't get a lot of traffic."

Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing by mid-morning Saturday and rise somewhere into the mid 40s. Temperatures will drop back into the 30s Saturday, but Bishop said they are expected to remain above freezing.

"I think most of it will thaw, but I think you will see patches of snow still left," he said.

Temperatures will once again rise Sunday with a high of around 50. However, a cold front Sunday evening will drop temperatures back below freezing.

However, by this point Bishop believes that most roads should be clear.

Temperatures will continue to climb moving into next week with highs ranging from the 50s to the 60s and lows in the 30s and 40s.

Looking further out, Bishop said he was cautious to say if this would be the last winter storm of the year. However, he felt confident that nothing following last week will have the same magnitude.

"I don't think it is possible for us to get that cold any more for the rest of this year," he said. "We still can, well into March, get some cold snaps, but chances are if that does happen it won't be near what we've seen here."

The national weather service is not the only agency predicting the end of the cold spell. On Friday, ERCOT ended emergency conditions for the Texas electrical system following  losses of generation on Monday.

“There is enough generation on the electric system to allow us to begin to return to more normal operating conditions,” Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin said in a press release.