NOAA 2000-R297
Contact: Ron Trumbla


The Arctic cold front that is sweeping through the western and central United States has reached into the southern plains as far as south-central Texas. Extremely cold temperatures moving down from the north will mix with a band of precipitation moving northeast to create a dangerous mix of winter weather.

While New Mexico, Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle contend with snow and dangerous wind chill factors, northern Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas brace for a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. A band of precipitation moving through Texas could bring snow and the threat of significant icing to a large portion of Texas, as well as Louisiana and Arkansas today and tonight.

This dangerous wintry mix will spread eastward to other southern states over the next couple of days. Seventeen National Weather Service Forecast Offices in the affected area have issued winter storm advisories, watches or warnings.

In north Texas, snow and sleet amounts up to four inches are possible across the state – including the Dallas/Fort Worth area and into southern Oklahoma.

South of the area, a second band of ice mixed with snow will stretch from the Hill Country, through central Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas. A third band of rain and freezing rain will extend southward past San Antonio.

Accumulations of ice and snow will create hazardous driving conditions on roads, bridges and overpasses. Major power disruptions are possible. Citizens should be alert for downed power lines and trees and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial broadcasts for the latest winter weather advisories. They should plan to avoid driving as much as possible.

Bill Proenza, director, NWS Southern Region, says, "This is the coldest weather outbreak since early 1999 and could pose one of the more significant winter weather driving hazards in years."

The NWS Regional Operations Center in Fort Worth will be open around the clock during this serious weather event. The Center will be available to assist our Weather Forecast Offices throughout the region; and, to provide up-to-the-minute weather information for federal, state and local emergency managers and the media."

Updated weather information for all areas is available on the NWS Southern Region website at Editors may also contact the local NWS Forecast Office or the Regional Operations Center at (817) 978-1100 ext. 147.