North Texas Braces for Cold Weather and School Closures
As an Arctic blast and a Hard Freeze Warning sweep across North Texas, school districts find themselves faced with difficult decisions about canceling classes due to hazardous road conditions and bitter cold.
Weather Impact on Schools
With the onset of freezing temperatures, some universities and school districts like TCU, Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Dallas College, Crowley ISD, and Kaufman ISD have already announced the cancellation of classes for Tuesday. However, other districts are yet to make an official announcement.
Contrarily, several districts including Aledo ISD, Allen ISD, Carroll ISD, Frisco ISD, McKinney ISD, Prosper ISD, and Weatherford ISD plan to continue classes on a normal schedule on Tuesday.
Weather Conditions and Outlook
Although sunshine and solar radiation contributed to some melting on Monday afternoon, the temperatures will remain well below freezing until Wednesday. Any remaining moisture on the roads will freeze, leading to potentially hazardous conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning from midnight Tuesday until 10 a.m., with no additional precipitation expected. Overnight lows into Tuesday are expected to be around 11 degrees. However, relief is in sight as temperatures are expected to climb back into the 40s on Wednesday.
Cold Weather Preparation
Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your home is crucial to ensure that warm air stays inside and cold air stays outside, especially during extreme cold. Start by replacing worn weatherstripping on doors and windows to maintain a good seal. Older windows may require glaze replacement, which should ideally be done in the spring or fall. Additionally, clear your gutters to prevent water from entering your home. Trim trees away from power lines, homes, and cars, and check the insulation level in your attic to further protect your home.
Protecting Your Pipes
Insulating outdoor faucets is a common practice, but during prolonged cold snaps, leaving inside faucets on external walls dripping can prevent freezing. Minimize the sound of running water by placing a sponge or towel in the sink. If you’re leaving town, consider leaving cabinet doors open to expose pipes on external walls to heat. Don’t forget to insulate pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and other exposed outdoor areas. Use foam covers to protect external faucets, as towels are not a long-term solution. If a pipe freezes, keep the faucet open to allow water to flow when it thaws. Familiarize yourself with the location of your main water valve in case of a burst pipe.
Bring in Your Pets
While some animals may typically live or sleep outdoors, cold temperatures put them at risk of hypothermia and pneumonia. If you’re cold outside, chances are your pet is too. Bring pets indoors and ensure that outdoor animals have appropriate shelter to protect them from frigid temperatures.
Protecting Your Plants
Perennial potted plants should be brought indoors, while plants that cannot be moved should be covered. Use sheets, blankets, or landscaping frost blankets to insulate delicate plants. Water the soil by hand only a day or two before a freeze to insulate the plant’s roots. For more information on protecting plants from frosts and freezes, consult the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Additionally, the extension provides tips on how to plant for the winter.
Turn Off Your Sprinkler System
It is essential to turn off your irrigation system during extreme cold. This prevents water from freezing on streets and potential pipe or valve damage. Winterize your system by turning off timers, back-flow devices, and draining the mainline. Insulate any above-ground pipes.
In addition to regularly changing air filters, inspect your ductwork for holes that may disrupt airflow. Attics, where parts of the HVAC system are often located, can become nesting spots for rodents. Have your ductwork checked regularly to ensure uninterrupted airflow and prevent rodent infestations.
Even with a freeze protector, check your pool pump daily to ensure water is moving through the pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst, leading to costly repairs.
Prepare for potential power outages by having fresh batteries for flashlights. Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you haven’t done so during daylight saving time. Keep your phone charged and consider having a backup battery or power source for emergencies.
Read More of this Story at www.nbcdfw.com – 2024-01-16 00:20:01
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