hard freeze warning

The Thaw Is on! Hard Freeze Warning Expires With Weekend Warmup

Patchy ice is still possible in areas shaded from the sun; below-freezing temperatures to continue in overnight hours through the middle of next week

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A warmup is underway in North Texas Saturday after a midweek winter storm blanketed North Texas with more than an inch of sleet and snow.

A Hard Freeze Warning issued for North Texas at midnight was allowed to expire at 9 a.m. This came after Friday saw sunny skies and warmer temperatures, leading roads to thaw eventually and refreeze under the darkness of the overnight hours.

NBC 5 Meteorologist Samantha Davies said significant melting will occur Saturday with roads progressively turning into good shape through the afternoon. Davies said Saturday's high temperature will reach 43 degrees, but temperatures will be below freezing for the next few nights.

Some ice may persist in shady spots with another refreeze into Sunday morning -- but icy patches will be limited.

All snow and ice should be gone by Sunday afternoon.

Milder weather will return next week with temperatures in the 50s and 60s expected. A ridge of high pressure will keep the weather quiet through the extended forecast, Davies said.

Total sleet and snow amounts recorded in North Texas between Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 2-3, 2022.
Total sleet and snow amounts reported in North Texas between Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 2-3, 2022.

POWER OUTAGES SATURDAY

This week's major winter storm blanketed North Texas with a layer of ice and snow and cut power to tens of thousands of customers. The outages, though, were not related to a failing power grid like the storm of February 2021, but rather due to more normal things like icy power lines or fallen limbs.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oncor reported about 6,200 customers without power in Texas.

There are roughly 550 outages in Collin County, 950 in Dallas County, 45 in Denton County, and 155 in Tarrant County. Read more about power outages and restoration efforts here.

"Oncor damage assessment, vegetation management, and power restoration personnel have been working since the winter storm’s arrival. Out-of-state utility partners are also supporting restoration efforts," a notice posted on Oncor's website read. "Freezing temperatures and hazardous road conditions are challenging crews, but work will continue 24 hours a day as long as weather conditions allow."

To report an outage or a downed line, click here, or call 888-313-4747, or text "Out" to 66267.

FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS FRIDAY

The flight-tracking service FlightAware.com showed more than 4,700 cancellations for flights in the U.S. scheduled for Friday -- that's on top of the more than 10,000 already canceled Wednesday and Thursday.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Friday there are 470 canceled flights and another 142 delayed. At Love Field, 78 flights have been canceled and 39 delayed.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines has canceled 963 flights Friday and delayed another 370 while Dallas-based Southwest has canceled 437 and delayed 380.

At DFW. the home hub of AA, an estimated 700 customers stayed Wednesday night in its terminals, according to an airport statement. Airport personnel provided pillows, blankets, diapers and infant formula to the marooned travelers. Airport officials said in the same statement that on Thursday night “we are ready to provide assistance in anticipation of customers who may need to stay in the terminals.”

Airport officials announced Friday night that six runways are now operational at DFW International. Airport crews will be inspecting surfaces as temperatures will return to below freezing overnight. 

In an effort to stay ahead of the weather, Southwest Airlines announced Tuesday that it would suspend all of its flight operations Wednesday at its Dallas Love Field hub and St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“Around the country, we’re planning to operate a limited or reduced schedule from some cities in the path of the storm but will make adjustments to the schedule as needed,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said.

HOW TO PLAN AHEAD FOR POWER LOSS

During winter weather, you could lose power for a number of reasons. Plan ahead by charging phones, tablets, and other devices so that you can stay informed of changing weather conditions.

If you haven't already, download NBCDFW's app so that you can read and watch the latest updates from our team of Weather Experts on your mobile devices even if you lose power in your home. Be sure to enable notifications so that you're alerted when we're in live coverage online.

Additionally, make sure you've added the NBC DFW OTT app to Apple TV, Fire TV or Roku -- using our app on those platforms you can watch our exclusive digital coverage on your television.

If you have a generator, it's important to remember those should not be running indoors -- including in the garage. Exhaust from generators contains high levels of carbon monoxide which can be fatal in minutes.

PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR WINTER WEATHER

With prolonged periods of sub-freezing temperatures, it's important to prepare your home for winter weather.

Remove hoses from outside spigots and cover them with an insulated faucet cover. The faucet cover comes with a plastic strap that fits around the spigot that you can then use to pull the cover snugly against the exterior of the home.

Be sure you know where your water main is located. They're typically in a box in the ground near the street. You should familiarize yourself with how to open the box (some of them have locks) and how to use a T-bar water main key or meter wrench to turn off the water at the main. Even if you don't have a water main key, a pair of pliers or a wrench can often be used to turn the valve off.

Cover sensitive outdoor plants with landscaping fabric or freeze protection bags to protect them from ice, sleet, snow, and cold wind. Sheets or blankets will also help. Plants that can be brought indoors can be kept in the garage.

If sprinkler systems are on a timer, turn them off so that the schedule doesn't run. This will keep water from covering and freezing on vegetation and roadways.

Drip your faucets -- but don't just drip the cold side, you need to drip both sides since hot water pipes will freeze first. Open cabinet doors to allow heat from the room to enter the areas under sinks.

If you have a pool, skim the water, empty the basket(s) so that the flow of water is unobstructed, and turn the pump on so that it's continually running while temperatures are below freezing. If you lose power, open the air relief valves, turn off the equipment and try to cover the exposed pipes with tarps or blankets to keep them from freezing.

Cold weather can be deadly for pets, just like humans, and they could suffer the effects of hypothermia and frostbite. Remember, pets should never be left outside unattended without food or shelter from the cold.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS

Dozens of school districts have canceled classes and after-school activities in preparation for the winter storm. A full list is being updated and compiled here.


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Copyright NBC 5 News and The Associated Press
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