Temperatures to remain below freezing as extended power outages continue in North Texas

cars on snowy road
Meteorologists are expecting the winter storm warning to end by the end of the week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Meteorologists are expecting the winter storm warning to end by the end of the week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The National Weather Service is expecting the winter weather advisory to end by 8 p.m. Feb. 17 with mostly sunny and dry conditions for the weekend and into next week.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing throughout the day. While there will no longer be any snow or ice accumulations, temperatures will remain below freezing through Feb. 18 and into the morning of Feb. 19.

“We're seeing the conditions that were leading to [the winter storm warning] are coming to an end in the DFW area,” said Monique Sellers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth. “We'll see if we can begin to clear some locations that are no longer reaching that criteria.”

The extended forecast shows sunny conditions with temperatures climbing back up to the low 50s by Feb. 21. Sellers said despite the optimistic forecast, people “can’t let [their] guard down.”

“It's gonna be a slow improvement. So we are going to get above freezing, at least for a few hours on Friday [Feb. 19], but we are going to drop back below freezing Friday night,” she said. “But after that, it'll be kind of a slow rebound at temperatures. We'll just kind of be dealing with the snow and ice on the ground melting and kind of rebounding slowly with those impacts.”

Power outages have continued across many cities in North Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the majority of the power grid in the state, called for controlled outages to continue. More than 3.2 million customers were without power as of about noon Feb. 17, according to https://poweroutage.us, which collects utility data from across the nation.

"Poor grid conditions have continued to prevent us and other utilities from rotating, or rolling, the entirety of these outages, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers," according to a message online from Oncor, the largest energy delivery company in Texas. "At this time, ERCOT is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize, and [we] urge all customers to be prepared for extended outages to continue."

Several local warming centers have been opened as a result. A map with available warming centers can be viewed here.

“What we expect is that temperatures increase and we start to get back to what's more seasonally normal for us,” Sellers said. “That'll probably relieve some of the pressure on the system that we've been experiencing.”

Due to power outages, several cities have had to issue boil-water notices. The northern third of Fort Worth is under a boil-water notice. Cities that are part of the North Texas Municipal Water District, including Richardson, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, have been asked to conserve water for essential use as a result of high demand. Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning have also been rising as people have been bringing in outdoor appliances to warm themselves up.

Road conditions continue to be dangerous, and people are encouraged to stay home. For road condition updates, visit the DriveTexas website for the latest updates.

The Texas Department of Transportation has shared the following safety guidelines for drivers:

  • Slow down. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.

  • Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.

  • Watch carefully for snow-removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet behind snowplows.

  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.

  • If your vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction. Then straighten your vehicle.

For people without power, here are tips to stay warm:

  • Close blinds and curtains to keep the heat inside your home.

  • Close off rooms to avoid wasting heat.

  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing.

  • Eat and drink. Food provides energy to warm the body. Alcohol and caffeine are to be avoided.

  • Stuff towels and rags in cracks under doors.

By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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