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Dallas-Fort Worth area iced-in by arctic blast

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Friday, Dec. 6 local news stations posted a constant stream of school, business, event, and organization closings and cancellations at the bottom of the screen throughout their programs. A winter storm carrying freezing rain, some snow, and lots of sleet hit the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex overnight, beginning early evening on Thursday, Dec. 5 extending through the coming weekend. WFAA posted a list of those closings, delays, and cancellations online.

Local ABC News affiliate News 8 Daybreak extended their morning on-air coverage to update area residents on roadway, local transportation, and airport closings, cancellations, and delays. Temperatures dropped into the 20s, hard-freezing rain that fell in heavy sheets of sleet and ice during late evening Thursday through early Friday morning. Streets became treacherous to navigate with limited traction due to untreated ice and sleet-covered surfaces during the early morning on Friday. However, the area is more prone to freezing rain, where rain freezes instantly on contact with surfaces to provide a hard, slick, icy surface with no traction. Chief meteorologist for local ABC News affiliate, Pete Delkus explained that “one to four inches of the little balls of sleet” mixed with “a quarter to an inch and a half of freezing rain — that's just plain ice — you're looking at some pretty significant issues. That's what we have and it's in place right now across the Dallas/Fort Worth area.” Area residents have been advised to stay home, if at all possible. Check road closings, alternate routes, and detours at the WFAA website.

The system responsible for the storm extends from Mexico to Canada, over 2200 miles in length. A large part of the country is engulfed in extremely cold temperatures with temperatures 14 degrees below freezing in Billings, ND. In the Dallas/Fort Worth viewing area, residents have seen temperatures as low as 21 degrees, but still falling throughout the morning. Pete Delkus predicted at 7:30 a.m. that the system will remain in place for at least three to five more hours. Greg Fields, Daybreak meteorologist, added that with brisk winds factored into the temperatures, the wind chill temperatures drop as low as nine. Fields forecasts that the precipitation will continue through the morning, tapering off around the noon hour. He added that later in the afternoon on Friday “looks like all the wintry precip will be gone, but temperatures will stay quite cold.” Greg concludes “Heading into Saturday afternoon and evening … around 6 p.m. I think we'll have another round of very light freezing rain and sleet across the area that could even aggravate the problems on a lot of the roads as it will get quite cold tonight and anything left over will refreeze out there, and that will be a concern.”

The winter storm warning continues throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area until 6 p.m. on Friday.

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