Winter Weather Will Probably Mildly Tap Area, But Panic Anyway

Sorry kids, it won’t be a winter weather wallop — more like a gentle tap. A gross, wet, cold tap, but a tap nonetheless. 

So yes, you’re probably going to school.

“I believe the worst of the weather will remain to the west of Dallas. However, with temperatures in the low to mid-30s Wednesday morning, we will need to be weather aware,” NBC 5 chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell told us. “Right now I expect a cold rain, but a drop of a degree or two in the temperatures could lead to more sleet which could lead to slick spots on area roads.”

“Again, the majority of impacts will likely be west of the Dallas area.”

Both Highland Park ISD and Dallas ISD said decisions about school (which you will be going to) won’t be made until tonight at the earliest, but probably more like first thing in the morning.

“As with many districts, Dallas ISD is monitoring the weather closely to determine what plans we may need to make for tomorrow,” said Dallas ISD news and information director Robyn Harris. “While student and staff safety is our top priority when making this type of decision, there are other factors we must consider that include a thorough assessment of our roads and monitoring any power outages.”

“We recognize the families we serve need to properly plan in the event we must close,” she added. “If at all possible, we will share tonight whether a decision has been made to close schools, if not by, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. We’re encouraging our community to monitor the Dallas ISD website and social media channels for any weather-related announcements.”

Dallas ISD maintains Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as a Facebook page, in addition to its website.

Highland Park ISD sent a reminder to parents Monday evening that outlined the district’s inclement weather procedures.

“In the event of inclement weather, the decision on whether to close or delay the opening of schools will be made by 6 a.m. and announced through the following outlets: Text message, email, announcement on www.hpisd.org, posts on the district’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, the main switchboard (214-780-3000), and we will also inform television and radio stations,” the district said.

Given that Mitchell did say that a drop of a couple of degrees could change things a bit, it’s still a good idea to check on local roads and give yourself plenty of time before heading out in the morning. We’ll be posting updates on our Twitter accounts (you can find Park Cities here, and Preston Hollow here), and on our Facebook accounts, where readers from Park Cities and Preston Hollow can also report what they’re seeing as well – once they’re safely off the road, that is.

The Texas Department of Transportation said it began treating roadways Monday morning and would continue to do so. The agency also recommends checking DriveTexas.org or calling 800-452-9292 for updates on road conditions.

TxDOT said the biggest piece of safety advice is also the most obvious — buckle up.

“Always buckle up – every person, every ride,” a statement from TxDOT said. “Wearing a seat belt is one of the best safety protections in any kind of weather. ”

While it’s still relatively calm, the department also said checking the antifreeze, battery, tires, windshield wipers and lights on a car is a good idea. Leaving early to build in time for delays is also recommended.

TxDOT also recommends the following for driving in winter weather or fog:

  • Slow down and increase the following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. It can take twice as long to stop on wet roads and even longer on icy roads.
  • Do not use cruise control, which may cause you to lose control on icy surfaces.
  • Brake gently, applying slow, steady pressure to test traction.
  • Approach turns, bridges and shaded spots slowly. If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and keep both hands on the wheel. Take your foot off the gas, look where you want to go, and then steer in that direction.
  • Keep a safe distance away from snowplows and TxDOT vehicles as they treat roadways.
  • Use low beam headlights and fog lights, if you have them. Do not use high beams (bright lights).
  • Slow down and do not drive faster than your field of vision. Use windshield wipers and the defroster to maximize visibility.
  • Increase your following distance to ensure enough room for stopping, and avoid sudden stops.
  • ​Use the right edge of the road or roadside reflectors as a guide. If you cannot see, pull off the road completely — preferably at a rest area or truck stop — and turn on your hazard flashers immediately

 

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *