North Texas Christmas storm: More snow in the forecast

Snow accumulations

Credit: National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issued this revised estimate of snowfall accumulations early Christmas morning.

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by COLLEEN COYLE and WALT ZWIRKO

WFAA

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Early Christmas morning, the National Weather Service extended a winter weather advisory to include Dallas and Tarrant counties. The advisory begins at 9 a.m. and continues through midnight Tuesday.

It's the winter storm that promises a little bit of everything: thunderstorms, rain, snow, wind, and  bitterly cold temperatures.

The Texas Department of Transportation was already reporting icy road conditions in the Panhandle at 7 a.m. as the storm headed toward North Texas.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning for the counties bordering the Red River, increasing its snowfall estimate along the Red River to 4 to 6 inches. Sherman, Denison, Gainesville and Paris are included in the alert area.

There will be less accumulation to the south: 2 to 4 inches in Denton, Collin, Hunt, Jack, Wise, Delta and Hopkins counties and 1 inch or less along the Interstate 20 corridor.

Northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph with higher gusts could result in areas of blowing snow with severely reduced visibility.

While the snow didn't arrive in North Texas in time for the kids to wake up to a White Christmas, many were jarred out of bed by the sound of powerful thunderclaps, rain and hail.

Heading into Christmas morning, all of North Texas remained above freezing as thunderstorms clattered across the region.

The rain was expected to continue through lunchtime. But by midafternoon, as temperatures drop, rain will turn to sleet and then snow in Denton and Collin counties as the sleet moves south into  Dallas and Fort Worth.

"The majority of that wintry precipitation is going to be north of that I-20 corridor," WFAA meteorologist Colleen Coyle said.

By 6 p.m., the snow will reach Dallas and Fort Worth as the temperature drops below freezing and a powerful north wind from 25-35 mph will make it feel like its 13 degrees.

The fast-moving weather system will begin moving out of North Texas by 9 o'clock. 

How much snow will we get? "It looks like about 2 to 4 inches across our Red River zones. Collin and Denton County could see around 1 to 2 inches of snow," Coyle said.

Dallas and Tarrant counties are likely to receive one inch or less of accumulating snow.

One of the biggest concerns will come Wednesday morning when many people return to work. Bridges and overpasses could still be icy, with low temperatures in most of the region dipping down into the low 20s.

"We are going to see some of this freezing overnight, giving us some 'black ice' as we head into [Tuesday] evening," Coyle said.

E-mail ccoyle@wfaa.com

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