An Arctic cold front has arrived in North Texas. That, combined with precipitation that began falling late Monday night, has prompted a number of closures and delays.
Midlothian ISD announced Monday evening it would be closed Tuesday, with the remaining Ellis County schools announcing their closure early morning Tuesday.
City of Waxahachie public relations director Amy Hollywood told the Daily Light that street crews would be out with sand trucks to handle icy conditions as they presented themselves on bridges, overpasses and major intersections.
The city of Waxahachie opened at its normal time; Ellis County offices were closed due to the weather.
The city announced this morning trash pickup for Tuesday has been cancelled in the city of Waxahachie.
As temperatures began to drop, the rain changed over to sleet with freezing rain and some snow. Weather forecasters said from 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation was possible north of a line extending from Goldthwaite to Hillsboro to Canton, with the winter storm warning in place until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
A wind advisory is in effect for all of North Texas until 6 p.m., with northwest wind gusts from 30 to more than 45 mph. Wind chills from minus 8 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit are expected through Tuesday night, with a wind chill advisory in place until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
“A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills,” the National Weather Service advisory reads. “”Prolonged exposure to the cold may result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if pre cautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors, wear a hat and gloves.”
The weather conditions have combined to make travel treacherous, with law enforcement and emergency crews responding to numerous reports, ranging from vehicles losing traction on the roadways to accidents.
“Be prepared for slippery roads and plan on some travel delays,” warned the National Weather Service, saying they expect roads, bridges and overpasses in the warning area to be “very hazardous and possible impassable.”
Forecasters said they expected the precipitation to end from west to east Tuesday morning.
Wind chills will drop below zero for areas north of a Lampasas to Ennis to Paris line Tuesday night with single digits elsewhere. Another night of single digit and below zero wind chills is possible Wednesday night.
There is a slight chance of snow Thursday night and Friday across all of North Texas.
Emergency crews were out in force this morning responding to a number of traffic accidents and weather-releated calls throughout Ellis County.
Cold weather tips
During extended outbreaks of cold weather, it is always advisable to be proactive and protect exposed pipes with insulating material and to leave a water faucet slowly dripping overnight.
Outdoor pets should be provided appropriate shelter and residents are encouraged to dress in layers to avoid the impacts of cold temperatures and wind chills.
Anytime temperatures are expected to fall below freezing, turn off automatic sprinklers because, if left running in sub-freezing temperatures, hazardous driving conditions can be created.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management advises that emergency supplies you need for an ice storm are similar to supplies you need in any emergency – but there are some additional items. These include kitty litter or sand to keep sidewalks and steps clear of ice, a windshield scraper for the car, warm clothes and extra blankets.
Winterize your vehicle before a storm. Keep the gas tank full to prevent the fuel line from freezing. In a severe ice storm, lines may be down and power out for a week or more.
Here is a check list that will serve you well in emergencies:
• One-week supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day, coolers for food and ice storage
• Credit cards and cash (banks and ATMs may not have power)
• Battery-operated radio, NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries or hand crank radio, cell phones and chargers
• First-aid kit, seven-day supply of prescription medications, copies of prescriptions, special medical items, hearing aids and batteries, eyeglasses
• Manual can opener, knife, tools, booster cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, tarp, rope, flashlight with extra batteries
• Supplies for babies, the elderly, family members with special health care needs, and food and supplies for pets
For additional winter weather preparedness information, click on: