Snow, ice to create difficult travel conditions from Texas to Oklahoma into Thursday night
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 03, 2019, 8:40:33 PM EST
A winter storm will continue to produce a swath of snow, ice and dangerous travel from parts of northern Texas to northeastern Oklahoma into Thursday night.
Just enough cold air will slice southward, while moisture builds over the low levels of the atmosphere, to continue to produce an icy mix swath from parts of north-central Texas to central and northeastern Oklahoma.
There is the potential for enough snow and ice to cause road and school closures in part of the region.
Enough freezing rain may accrue to weigh down tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages in some communities.
Ice accumulated on trees in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday as freezing rain fell across the area.
Accidents were also reported in Oklahoma, including around Oklahoma City, on Wednesday afternoon as sleet and freezing rain impacted the region.
A more widespread problem will be a thin coating of ice on roads and sidewalks, which will pose a major hazard for motorists and pedestrians.
As the storm spins eastward, the warm air aloft preventing snow from falling will trend much colder. This change in the storm structure will allow rain or a wintry mix to turn to snow near the storm's center.
A swath of 3-6 inches of snow is forecast from the storm from part of northwestern Texas to southwestern Oklahoma, including Childress and Vernon, Texas to Altus, Hobart and Lawton, Oklahoma.
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"If the storm tracks farther to the north than currently expected, the swath of heavy snow may expand over the Oklahoma City area," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. "That would lead to a travel nightmare with city streets clogged with snow, and motorists at risk of getting stuck through Thursday night."
Even if the heaviest snow remains to the southwest, motorists will have to remain alert for slippery travel at times in Oklahoma City until the storm departs early Friday.
"Remember that freezing drizzle is enough to make untreated roads and sidewalks icy," Pydynowski said.
Some ice is likely to build up north and west of Dallas, including in the northern and western suburbs of Fort Worth. Freezing rain caused accidents and road closures in the northern suburbs of Fort Worth on Wednesday morning.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see what conditions are forecast for your area.
Temperatures are forecast to moderate considerably across the Plains late this week and this weekend, which will allow the snow and ice to melt.
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