Feb. 23: Schools Cancel Tuesday Classes; Roads Slick In Morning; Snow In Forecast | KERA News

Feb. 23: Schools Cancel Tuesday Classes; Roads Slick In Morning; Snow In Forecast

Feb 23, 2015

The winter blast dumped sleet on North Texas, shutting down scores of schools and snarling traffic Monday. More winter weather is expected by Tuesday night -- and some school districts are already canceling school for a second day. 

Here are the latest details -- we'll have updates on KERANews.org. Also, tune in to KERA 90.1 FM Tuesday for more weather news.

For Tuesday's weather coverage, click here.

Update, 6:42 p.m. Monday: School closings are starting to roll in for Tuesday. Dallas ISD just announced it will be closed Tuesday. Fort Worth ISD, Arlington ISD, Denton ISD and Richardson ISD will be closed, too. There are many others -- check your local district's website or social media channels.

The National Weather Service says roads will be icy Tuesday morning. Water or sleet on the roads tonight will freeze thanks to the freezing temperatures. 

In addition, another storm system is expected to arrive in North Texas Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Depending on how the system moves through the area, Dallas-Fort Worth could see 1 to 3 inches of snow. 

Dallas County government offices and courts will have a delayed opening at noon Tuesday.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement: "The decision is based in large part on the National Weather Service's forecast of below freezing temperatures in Dallas County overnight which will likely result in a re freezing of precipitation on roadways and dangerous driving conditions in the early morning hours. It is expected the icy conditions will return to a slush mixture by mid morning due to traffic on the roadways and that temperatures will creep above freezing after 1 p.m. tomorrow." 

Update, 1:06 p.m. Monday: A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for much of North Texas.

The sleet is tapering off, although we could see another one-tenth of an inch of precipitation through the afternoon. Areas east of Interstate 35 are most likely to see a bit more sleet, the National Weather Service says.

Temperatures will remain in the mid to upper 20s, with wind chills in the teens. They will remain below freezing through Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service says. Ice could remain on roads through Tuesday afternoon, when it will finally start to melt.

As of noon, the North Texas Tollway Authority said its toll roads were open and passable. But NTTA was encouraging drivers to use caution and slow down. NTTA crews have been working 12-hour shifts to treat roads with salt, brine and magnesium chloride.

Texas Department of Transportation crews continue to treat and plow highways across North Texas.

Oncor says there were just 65 power outages as of 1 p.m. – that’s down from 1,800 outages at 6 a.m.

Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake was covered with sleet Monday.
Credit Dane Walters / KERA News

Folks in Stephenville enjoy the winter wonderland.
Credit Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Update, 10:10 a.m. Monday: The sleet may be tapering off for now, but roads will remain hazardous. As of 10 a.m., it was in the mid to upper 20s across North Texas. Temperatures will stay below freezing throughout the day.

Texas Department of Transportation crews are out in force this morning plowing the roads.

Since midnight, Dallas police have responded to 51 accidents on freeways involving injuries, 30 other wrecks involving injuries, and 32 minor accidents. 

Fort Worth police say they continue to help motorists who have slid off icy roads and freeways.

Here's a look at the roads in Fort Worth, courtesy of the Fort Worth Police Department:

Update, 8:57 a.m. Monday: The Associated Press reports: Icy weather has delayed the murder trial of the ex-Marine charged with killing famed Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. Prosecutors were scheduled Monday to continue their rebuttal against the defense of Eddie Ray Routh, but icy conditions forced proceedings to be canceled. The trial will resume Tuesday. The jury could receive the case later this week.

Update, 8:09 a.m. Monday: There’s been at least one fatality related to the winter weather. A fatal accident was reported earlier this morning in Carrollton on southbound President George Bush Turnpike between West Belt Line Road and Valley View Lane. Southbound traffic was forced to exit the turnpike, Carrollton police reported.

Dallas city officials say sanding has been effective on city streets -- most driving issues have been on highways, tollways and major roads. 

As the sleet tapers off, roads will remain icy -- that's because we'll be below freezing for the rest of the day. 

Update, 7:15 a.m. Monday: It’s dangerous out there.

Since midnight, Dallas police says it has responded to dozens of accidents – 46 involving injuries on freeways; 26 other accidents involving injuries; and 26 involving minor wrecks. Earlier this morning, Dallas police shut down three of four lanes of eastbound Interstate 635 at Preston Road due to stuck vehicles.

Fort Worth police report about 66 accidents since 9 p.m. Sunday.

Scores of school districts are closed, including Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs.

D/FW International Airport says airlines have canceled about half of the flights scheduled into and out of the airport today. That includes over 500 departures and nearly as many arrivals. At Dallas Love Field, scores of flights have been canceled. 

Roads, bridges and overpasses are slick. The National Weather Service says to stay off the roads unless it's an emergency. If you do travel, bring blankets, a flashlight, food and water in case you get stranded. 

As of 7 a.m., it was in the upper 20s across North Texas. Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing through Tuesday morning. 

Q&A on the winter blast 

How much precipitation will we get?

The National Weather Service says we can expect up to 2 inches of sleet across much of North Texas, including Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin and Rockwall counties. Counties south of Dallas-Fort Worth could see about a half-inch of sleet. Some areas could see ice. We're going to get hit during two rounds: The first round of precipitation should end by 10 p.m. Sunday. The second round is expected to start in the pre-dawn hours Monday and move to the east as the day rolls along, the weather service says.

How cold?

Temperatures will fall into the low to mid 20s early Monday morning. It won’t get above 30 degrees Monday in Dallas-For Worth. The weather service says Dallas-Fort Worth could be under freezing for 39 hours.

What about the roads?

Road conditions will be worst in Dallas-Fort Worth and in the counties north and west of D/FW. Expect slick and hazardous roads. Texas Department of Transportation says its crews have been working throughout the weekend. "TxDOT crews ... plan to continue de-icing and treating roads overnight Sunday to reduce the impacts of freezing and refreezing," the agency said in a statement. "Despite this work, drivers are urged to use extreme caution because of the potential for black ice, which appears as dry pavement. Ice on bridges and overpasses will continue to be a concern in the impacted areas." In Dallas, about 100 city workers and 35 sanding trucks were dispatched at 6 p.m. Sunday to work on the roads. 

A look at an icy East Dallas Monday morning.
Credit Dane Walters / KERA News

What about schools?

Several North Texas school districts have announced they’re closed Monday, including Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Arlington ISD and Plano ISD. Other school district closings include: Frisco, Denton, Irving, Grapevine-Colleyville, McKinney.

Several colleges will be closed Monday, including: Dallas County Community College District colleges, Tarrant County College, Collin College, UNT, UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, SMU and TCU. 

Check your local school district or college website or social media page for details about your school.

What about flights?

D/FW International Airport is reporting that airlines have canceled about half of Monday's flights. The airport says elevated surfaces, runways and taxiways have been pretreated. Roads will be pretreated Sunday night. At Dallas Love Field, officials reported on Twitter a few flight cancelations and delays. As always, check with your airline about the status of your flight.  

What about public transportation?

DART says it's modifying its rail service due to the weather. That started at 7 p.m. Sunday. Generally, DART is operating trains within the LBJ loop. For Monday service, trains will operate between the following stations: Red Line: LBJ/Central - 8th & Corinth; Blue Line: LBJ/Skillman - 8th & Corinth; Green Line: Farmers Branch - Lawnview; Orange Line: Irving Convention Center - LBJ/Central. "Customers using stations outside of these limits will ride shuttle buses to those stations," DART says. "Passengers should look for the red 'Rail Disruption' bus stop sign located near each station to board a shuttle bus." Learn more here.

DART says its Monday bus routes will operate on Saturday schedules "with limited service added on express routes 206, 208, 210, 221, 234, 278, 282, 283, and local routes 63, 362 and 509."

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority posted a note on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon saying it expected to provide scheduled bus and Trinity Railway Express service on Monday. The T warns that passengers could experience delays and "all scheduled service will be subject to weather and safety conditions." Visit the T's Facebook page  or website.

What about other closings? 

Dallas County government offices and courts are closed Monday due to the weather, County Judge Clay Jenkins announced. 

Collin County and Denton County government offices will be closed Monday, the counties say on their websites. 

Watch the weather

Here's the National Weather Service radar for North Texas:

National Weather Service video

Here’s a video update from the weather service:

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