From Bad to Worse: Cold front picks up speed
Bruce Alsobrook | News-Telegram Editor

Nov. 29, 2006 - The National Weather Service warned this morning that an Arctic front headed for North Texas is moving faster than expected and will have swept across the area by 4 a.m. Thursday.

The front was forecast to reach Montague County about noon and hit Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The weather service was upgrading a freezing rain advisory to a winter storm warning for counties on and north of a Graham to Decatur to Gainesville line, with the possibility of accumulations of more than half an inch of ice and up to six inches of snow in that area by Thursday evening.

Closer to home, NWS forecasters were pondering upgrading a winter storm watch for Hopkins County to a winter storm warning. That includes all areas north of a Comanche to Waxahachie to Canton line. Weather forecasting models hinted that the atmosphere over the region could cool faster than previously expected, cold enough for snow in the Metroplex by late Thursday morning.

"Should that occur, we will have enough time to pick up 1-3 inches of snow in the D-FW area before the precipitation ends Thursday afternoon/evening," forecasters wrote in the special weather statement issued at 10:35 a.m. today.

The forecast for Hopkins County as of 10:46 a.m. today called for freezing rain and sleet likely between noon and 3 p.m, then snow likely afterward. Winds should be between 15 and 25 miles per hour, with gusts to 30 mph.

Much of the freezing precipitation in the Hopkins County area should melt, at least until the ground cools off, but icy conditions would form more quickly on elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.

The wintry precipitation should end sometime Thursday evening, but a hard freeze is expected across North Texas overnight Thursday, which could make for treacherous travel Friday morning.

There's also a good chance of severe thunderstorm activity ahead of the cold front today. Forecasters said a dry line will sweep across North Texas in advance of the Artic air, with the possibility of supercell thunderstorms producing some severe hail and damaging winds.

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