Ice storm warning issued for parts of North Texas through Thursday


As North Texas nears its fourth day of icy conditions and freezing temperatures, the National Weather Service advises people to continue staying off the roads.

Despite some ice melting Wednesday, road conditions are still dangerous, and could potentially worsen overnight, said Hunter Reeves, a meteorologist with the weather service at its Fort Worth office.

“It’s like an ice rink out there right now,” Reeves said. He added that areas that appear to be melting will freeze over again when the sun sets.

Officials also urge people to stay home if possible. While conditions may improve Thursday afternoon, roads likely won’t make a full recovery until Friday, when the sun comes out.

An ice storm warning was issued for the western part of the region on Tuesday but expanded to include more of the metroplex around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday. Freezing rain and ice build up will be most significant in the areas west of and along the I-35 corridor, the weather service said.

The upgraded warning is due to the half inch of additional ice accumulation expected Wednesday afternoon through the next morning. The ice can freeze on trees, powerlines, and roads causing major impacts.

Elsewhere in North and Central Texas remained under a winter storm warning.

Schools and businesses continued to close, flights were canceled or delayed again, and mail delivery was halted Tuesday and Wednesday.

Freezing rain and sleet were forecasted for Dallas all day Wednesday with a high near 32 and low around 30. An early morning freezing rain on Thursday would become rain after 10 a.m., according to the weather service, with a high near 37 and low around 31.

The purple indicates areas under an ice storm warning Feb. 1, 2023 through Feb. 2, 2023.
The purple indicates areas under an ice storm warning Feb. 1, 2023 through Feb. 2, 2023.(National Weather Service)

11 a.m.: Ice expected to melt in a couple days

Most of the ice that’s accumulated at the start of the week should be gone by end of day Friday, according to meteorologists with the weather service.

Ice needs above-freezing temperatures for an extended period of time in order to melt, and the sun’s energy is helpful with speeding the process along.

Roads are expected to improve but still remain a little icy Thursday afternoon, after the ice storm warning is lifted and temperatures rise to the mid 30s. By Friday, the sun will be shining and the temperatures will be in the upper 40s, meaning the ice should finally melt.

10:26 a.m.: DFW cancels more than two-thirds of its flights

Many travelers flying out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Wednesday will likely have their plans disrupted due to a third day of icy conditions in North Texas.

More than two-thirds of Wednesday’s scheduled flights at DFW have been canceled, and more than half of flights at Love Field have been scrapped.

Texas airports — including DFW, Love Field and Austin-Bergstrom International — are leading the nation in canceled flights.

This winter storm marks D-FW’s third year in a row of ice storms and snow around this time of year. About one year ago, airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights due to extreme weather conditions.

Travelers should check with their airlines about the status of other flights planned Wednesday or Thursday.

An American Airlines aircraft undergoes deicing procetures on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at DFW...
An American Airlines aircraft undergoes deicing procetures on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at DFW Airport. Dallas and other parts of North Texas are under a winter storm warning through Wednesday.(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)

9:26 a.m.: Dallas facilities remained closed

Ice and sleet have led all Dallas city facilities to be closed to the public Wednesday, including City Hall, libraries, recreation centers and the municipal court.

Garbage and recycling collections have also been canceled for the second day in a row due to road conditions, city officials said. It’s not immediately clear as of Wednesday morning when sanitation pickups will resume.

8:27 a.m.: USPS making ‘every effort to deliver’

The U.S. Postal Service said mail and package delivery for residences and businesses will resume normal as of Wednesday morning, a day after services were halted due to the weather.

USPS says it will continue to monitor weather conditions that may impact services.

Letter carriers will make every effort to deliver their routes if it is safe to do so,” the announcement said. “The Postal Service continues to monitor conditions around the clock.”

USPS retail operations are open in North Texas, although hours at some stores may be modified.

This scene almost exactly a year ago could have played out anywhere across Dallas-Fort Worth...
This scene almost exactly a year ago could have played out anywhere across Dallas-Fort Worth on Wednesday, as icy roads and freezing temperatures blanketed the region.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

7:06 a.m.: Power outages

More than 52,600 people were without power Wednesday morning throughout Texas, according to live data from Oncor. There were 1,189 outages.

If an uptick in power outages Wednesday night and Thursday did occur, majority of the issues would likely be from ice causing tree branches to break onto powerlines, the national weather service said.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which manages most of the state’s electricity grid, said Monday that it “expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand.”

Gov. Greg Abbott reiterated the sentiment in a Tuesday news conference saying the “power grid is functioning just fine as we speak.”

6:44 a.m.: Trinity Metro halts services

Trinity Metro, a public transit agency serving Tarrant County, said it suspended all bus and ZIPZONE services for Wednesday.

Trinity Metro TEXRail and Trinity Railway Express, the TRE, will still operate but passengers may experience delays.

6:08 a.m.: DART pauses streetcar service

DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, announced its would not operate its streetcar service Wednesday due to the weather. The streetcar runs from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff.

Its rail lines and bus routes continued operation but were experiencing “significant delays.”

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit train arrives at White Rock Station in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan....
A Dallas Area Rapid Transit train arrives at White Rock Station in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. DART says it is better prepared after last year’s complete shutdown and does not anticipate any stoppage of service.(Liesbeth Powers / Staff Photographer)

6 a.m.: Missing child found in Dallas

A 9-year-old boy reported missing from a far northeast Dallas neighborhood was found early Wednesday.

He was last seen Tuesday night around 10:45 p.m. on foot, when the weather was continuing to ice over.

5 a.m.: Icy roads

In Fort Worth, MedStar crews responded to 17 motor vehicle crashes between 3 p.m. Tuesday and 5 a.m. Wednesday. Two were rollover crashes.

In a 48-timeframe since 5 a.m. Monday, MedStar responded to 168 crashes, 21 of which were rollovers. Crews also responded to 14 patients for hypothermia, 12 were taken to hospitals with seven of them in serious condition. Fifteen people were injured from slipping on ice.

Crews will also continue to suspend their use of lights and sirens “out of an abundance of caution” to prevent additional crashes from motorists moving out of the way for ambulances, according to MedStar.

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