Oh, what a lovely weekend we had, with sunny skies and nice, moderate temperatures. But you knew it couldn’t last.
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service says it’s going to start raining here in Dallas-Fort Worth tonight, with showers and thunderstorms moving in, along with winds coming out of the north at about 20 to 25 mph, and gusts up to 30 mph — plus temperatures at about 30 degrees. But it is destined to get wetter — or icier — and colder.
NWS says there will be freezing rain and sleet and some snow as night turns into morning, up through about noon Tuesday, with the temperature falling to around 22 by noon, with the wind picking up to 25-30 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph — and a wind chill factor in the single digits. Snow — possibly heavy — could continue to fall on Tuesday, and it’s going to be even colder Tuesday night, with a temperature around 15 degrees and the wind chill below zero.
The cold spell isn’t going to let up till Friday when we may get above freezing, although the chance of snow will persist through Friday night.
Of course, that is the forecast right now, at 12:40 p.m. on Monday. Since this is Texas, that could change in the next hour or so! Still, chances are it’s going to be cold and wet and icy and snowy this next week. So I thought I would pass along these helpful hints just e-mailed to me by the Texas Division of Emergency Preparedness:
When winter storms threaten, monitor broadcast media and NOAA Weather Radio for information. Keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping. Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES FOR VEHICLE
• Blankets/sleeping bags and extra clothing, mittens and hat
• Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries
• First-aid kit and pocket knife
• High calorie, non-perishable food, bottled water
• Sack of sand or cat litter for de-icing roadway
• Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel
EMERGENCY TIPS FOR HOME
If heavy ice on power lines cuts utility service, be extremely careful using generators or gas powered equipment. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless and deadly. It can build up in a matter of minutes. Do not use generators, charcoal grills or gas grills inside the house, garage or enclosed space. Do not try to heat the house using a gas range or oven. Be prepared at home:
• Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio, batteries, flashlights, cell phone and chargers, manual can opener
• One-week supply of food, water, medicine, medical supplies and items for special health care needs, babies and the elderly
• Pet supplies, kitty litter or sand for de-icing steps and walkways
• Heating fuel, properly ventilated emergency heating source such as a fireplace, wood stove or space heater
• Fire extinguisher, smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector
• Warm clothing and extra blankets
For additional winter weather preparedness information, check:
The National Weather Service
The Red Cross
Or the federal government’s winter preparedness site.