Freezing rain, sleet descend on North Texas; to remain throughout weekend

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 1:30 AM

NORTH TEXAS -- A mix of freezing rain, sleet, and powerful wind gusts powered through the area Friday afternoon.

Driving conditions along I-20 to the west near Weatherford steadily got worse throughout the afternoon as temperatures started to drop.

In tiny Thurber, Texas, truck drivers pulled over early in the afternoon, some deciding to wait out the sleet.

"Within two seconds, my windshield was covered in ice," said Susan Williams, who was hauling two trailers from California.

Texas Department of Transportation work crews were preparing to hit the roads and put down a salt and sand mix. One local plow driver said it is nicknamed "melt down" because of how effective it be in keeping bridges and slippery spots from freezing.

Conditions may continue to worsen throughout the weekend. News 8 Meteorologist Greg Fields said a winter system will begin to move in late Saturday night into Sunday morning from the west.

"[We] will begin as rain late Saturday and then change over to sleet, I think that's gonna be the primary -- mainly sleet as we go into Sunday with freezing rain mixed in," Fields said. "This will be widespread, so most areas will see some form of frozen precipitation with accumulations, maybe an inch or more expected of ice west of Fort Worth through Monday morning."

He also warned driving in the areas west of Fort Worth could be treacherous through the weekend, as temperatures are expected to remain in the upper 30s Sunday during the day before falling to freezing again Sunday night.

In Dallas, the Department of Street Services staff said it is monitoring the weather conditions and will continue to do so throughout the weekend. Sander equipment has been mounted on the trucks and staff is on alert in case they are needed according to City of Dallas Communications & Media Relations Director Frank Librio. He said approximately 30 sanding trucks and 70 personnel will be on-call for two 12-hour shifts.

Fields expects temperatures to warm up into the 50s on Wednesday, clearing most of the roads.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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