A multi-faceted storm system is expected to race across North Texas starting Thursday afternoon, bringing cold rain, snow and wind — really strong wind.
Through noon Friday, the National Weather Service says most of North Texas will experience 25 mph to 35 mph winds, with a few areas getting gusts as strong as 50 mph.
Although wind chills are expected in the 20s and upper teens Thursday night and Friday morning, actual temperatures are expected to remain above freezing.
High wind speeds, especially combined with precipitation, could make commutes difficult through Friday morning, especially on elevated roadways like bridges. That's especially true with taller vehicles, trailers and campers, especially when traveling on east-west highways.
One thing for sure today is going to be the WIND. A Wind Advisory is in effect for most of the area from 3 PM today thru noon Friday. This will create difficult driving conditions in some areas, & could lead to downed tree branches & power outages. #dfwwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/0lZ4SW7576— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) December 13, 2018
Those speeds can also cause small tree limbs to break off. The weather service recommends securing light outdoor items like trash cans, lawn chairs, inflatable holiday decor and even trampolines.
The weather service says a mix of rain and heavy snow is expected for western parts of North Texas, such as Jacksboro, Mineral Wells and Stephenville, through 9 a.m. Friday. Those areas could get up to 4 inches of snow. Dallas-Fort Worth shouldn't experience the worst of it — the metro area could see a mix of snow and rain, but accumulations will be light.
Do you know that the elevation increases as you move west of the DFW Metroplex? Those higher elevations have the greatest potential for snow to accumulate, because surface temperatures cool as you go higher. #txwx #abiline #texomawx #dfwwx #ctxwx pic.twitter.com/0N6gYsQEmo— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) December 13, 2018
The North Texas Tollway Authority on Wednesday was brining raised portions of its toll roads to prevent ice from forming, in case temperatures plunge low enough. Just like the brine that marinates food for cooking, brining roads involves spraying surfaces with a saltwater mix, as a proactive measure. When the mix dries, it prevents ice from sticking.
Texas Department of Transportation crews have also been on area highways, pre-treating roads.
Far west North Texas: areas generally along and west of U.S 281 from Jacksboro to Mineral Wells to Evant. The storm is expected to bring a mix of rain and heavy snow. Total snow accumulations could range from a trace to 4 inches.
• The strongest gusts will be far west North Texas. Spots of special caution include between Waco and Hamilton, west of Jacksboro and northwest of Denton.
• The Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton area will get up to 40 mph winds.
• Areas east of Corsicana and Canton will feel the least impact.
Is your yard full of those Christmas inflatable decorations?
Well, it may not be if you leave them inflated tomorrow into Friday. Strong and gusty winds from the northwest could deposit them in your neighbor's yard or even farther down the street! #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/VdYTrTI9s2— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) December 12, 2018
Central North Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton should be on alert for a rain-snow mix, possible accumulation and wet roads made extra precarious from the high wind.
So, how fast is 50 mph wind?
• Two-thirds as fast as a hurricane
• Two-fifths as fast a tornado
• Three-quarters a fast as a cheetah
• Two-fifths as fast as a skydiver falling belly-to-earth
• 40 times as fast as an iceberg
• About as fast as a gazelle