Temperatures in Dallas-Fort Worth were above freezing for the first time in more than three days Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, signaling the end of a winter storm that covered the region with ice.
DFW International Airport recorded a temperature of 33 degrees at noon. It’s the first time the airport has been above freezing since 7 p.m. Sunday — marking 89 consecutive hours of temperatures at or below freezing.
Non-essential travel should still be avoided Thursday as North Texas slowly begins thawing from the winter storm that brought life to a standstill for much of the week.
While road conditions may improve in the afternoon as temperatures gradually rise above freezing, slushy and wet surfaces could refreeze and still lead to slick, icy spots through the Friday morning commute.
The high for the day is expected to be around 35, and lows forecast at 29, according to the National Weather Service. Light freezing rain is still in the forecast.
9 p.m.: Crash numbers stay low
After a spike in calls Monday, when MedStar responded to more than 110 calls related to crashes — many of them involving rollovers — emergency crews were dispatched to significantly fewer calls Tuesday to Thursday.
As of Thursday evening, MedStar had reported 201 total crashes, 21 rollover crashes and 58 hospitalizations, officials said. MedStar also responded to 24 hypothermia calls, 11 of them which led to people in serious condition at the hospital. Additionally, 47 people were injured from falling on ice, according to MedStar.
Dallas Fire-Rescue also saw a big drop in the number of crashes after the initial day of the storm.
From 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday, Dallas Fire-Rescue responded 32 crashes, said Jason Evans, a spokesman for the department. On Monday, emergency crews were dispatched to almost 290 crashes.
7 p.m.: ‘Freezing fog’ in forecast
According to the National Weather Service, there’s a chance for “freezing fog” in North Texas late Friday into Saturday morning.
Freezing fog occurs when the tiny droplets of water that make up freeze on surfaces — such as roads, sidewalks and tree branches — when the temperature drops below freezing. This can lead to black ice, particularly on bridges and overpasses, the weather service says.
4 p.m.: Dallas city facilities to open Friday, rain expected
City of Dallas facilities will reopen to the public and city activities will resume Friday after being closed since Tuesday.
Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans to report property damage from the week’s winter weather by using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool damage survey at damage.tdem.texas.gov.
“As communities across the state begin to recover, Texans who have experienced property damage to their homes and businesses as a result of this winter weather event are encouraged to report it through the iSTAT survey,” Abbott said in written statement. “I thank all of our utility workers working to restore power in their communities and our emergency response personnel who are continuing to help their fellow Texans as they begin to move forward.”
Thousands of Texans were without power Thursday, notably in the Austin region.
Temperatures recorded at Dallas Love Field also broke freezing Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service said a final round of rain is expected to sweep through the region but fall as rain, not freezing rain.
“It may actually help to accelerate melting of existing ice!” the agency tweeted.
4pm - This is the last round of precipitation for this event. This is mostly falling as rain with surface temps above freezing, and it may actually help to accelerate melting of existing ice! #dfwwx #ctxwx pic.twitter.com/Zw4cZbUcvI— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 2, 2023
3 p.m.: Ice melts, some roads still dangerous
Temperatures at DFW International Airport have hovered between 33 and 34 degrees this afternoon, and ice around North Texas continues to thaw.
The National Weather Service said primary roadway conditions have improved, but less-travelled roads continue to be under ice and slush.
The Weather service warned refreezing is possible overnight especially on bridges, with temperatures expected to stay in the upper 20s tonight. The agency advised drivers to remain cautious.
12 p.m.: Temperatures finally above freezing
Temperatures at DFW International Airport reached 33 degrees at noon on Thursday — marking the first time since Sunday that the region has seen temperatures above freezing.
The region marked 89 consecutive hours of temperatures at or below freezing, according to the National Weather Service.
9:30 a.m.: Still hundreds of flight cancellations
After freezing temperatures and slick roads essentially shut down both of the region’s major airports Tuesday and Wednesday, DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field slowly returned to more normal operations Thursday morning.
But American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have still canceled nearly 550 flights coming in and out of the two airports, bringing the total cancelations since Monday to 4,200.
Travelers are encouraged to check with their individual airlines before making their way to the airport.
9:20 a.m.: Major DART delays
DART urged travelers to seek alternate transportation as its rail service experienced major delays Thursday morning.
An alert from DART asked that passengers “allow a significant amount of travel time” to get to their destination if they do use the rail service.
DART has been able to continue operating most of its services through the winter storm.
8:20 a.m.: Fort Worth officers taken to hospital after crash
Two Fort Worth police officers narrowly avoided serious injury after their patrol car was struck by an out-of-control tractor-trailer Thursday morning.
The officers were responding to a crash about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 30, according to the department. A jack-knifing trailer struck the car while one of the officers was inside.
The officer escaped the car before it was hit again. Both officers fled to the median.
They were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
7 a.m.: Storm blamed for 7 deaths across the state
Icy roads were to blame for at least seven deaths across Texas over the course of the storm, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning.
Locally, one of those deaths took place in Arlington in the storm’s beginning stages.A 45-year-old man died Monday after his SUV slid into a guardrail in because of the slick conditions.
Weather and government officials urged people to stay off the road through Thursday morning.
6:40 a.m.: Dangerous roads, slip and falls
In Fort Worth, MedStar responded to four crashes from Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. The ambulance service has responded to more than 170 crashes since the storm began, transporting 53 people to the hospital.
Hypothermia has caused 22 people to be taken to the hospital since the storm began, 10 of them in serious condition, according to the ambulance service.
Nearly 30 patients have been injured in slip and falls on ice.
6:30 a.m.: Thousands still without power throughout the Central, East Texas
Nearly 4,000 active power outages were reported throughout Texas, affecting more than 140,000 homes and businesses, according to Oncor.
The bulk of outages was concentrated around Austin, where nearly 50,000 Oncor customers were without power. Also in Austin, about 150,000 customers of Austin Energy were also left in the dark.
Dallas-Fort Worth saw about 13,000 homes and businesses without power, while another large amount of outages — about 42,000 powerless customers — was reported in Tyler, according to Oncor.