Devastating ice storm targets deep south

By Blake Mathews - Meteorologist
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The second major winter storm in as many weeks is once again targeting the deep south and the 'Big D' is in store for the 'Big I'---as in ice. It doesn't stop there. Ice will accumulate to devastating amounts across most of Arkansas as well and on into Tennessee and Kentucky.

A series of strong arctic cold fronts have and will continue to move south supplying and replenishing the airmass with even colder readings.

In combination with the cold temperatures comes a series of disturbances that will move over the region dropping rain on top of a very cold surface. The result will be ice accumulations in excess of 1/4" and as much as 1/2" of ice across the entire Metroplex. To the northeast of the city, ice accumulations up to 3/4" can be expected. Therefore Winter Storm and Ice Storm Warnings have been issued for all of north Texas, central and eastern Oklahoma, nearly all of Arkansas and western Tennessee. 

The impacts will be tremendous. Ice accumulations of 3/4" is devastating causing widespread power outages, many trees to snap and impossible driving conditions.

Dallas-Fort Worth International airport has already cancelled up to 500 flights according to local media through 11am Friday. Being the largest hub for American Airlines, this may have a ripple affect at Miami International and Chicago O'Hare as well. Both airports have a large American presence.

Preparations in the south across several states have been on going with many area highway and byways from Dallas to Little Rock to Memphis have been and are being treated to prevent icing. DOT agencies stockpile liquid magnesium chloride for use in the winter time if it is ever needed during winter weather. The agent prevents icing of area roadways. 

We'll continue to follow this story with that latest information. Travel from Texas to Tennessee is strongly discouraged as driving conditions will become extremely hazardous starting Thursday evening.

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