This story was updated at 3 p.m. WednesdayThe battle between cold air and colder air seemed to occur in the atmosphere just above Denton as a big weather-maker inched its way through the region Wednesday.
Conditions changed from wet and rainy on the east side of town to misty and icy on the west. Overnight Tuesday until early Wednesday afternoon, about one-tenth of an inch of rainfall was recorded at Denton Enterprise Airport. And there may be more impacts to come, as all of Denton County remains under a winter weather advisory through Friday morning.
Meteorologists are calling for snow Thursday afternoon.
Denton police took count of five vehicle crashes in the area of North Loop 288 and Interstate 35 on Wednesday morning as temperatures dropped near freezing and a slow-moving system triggered fog and mist.
Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose said there were five vehicle crashes in the area about 8 a.m. Wednesday. Four of the crashes were due to icy conditions on the North Loop 288 bridge over I-35.
One of the crashes, Cose said, was caused by wet conditions Wednesday morning. One person from that crash was driven to an area hospital with injuries described by Cose as not serious.
The interstate was shut down until about 9:45 a.m. Texas Department of Transportation sand trucks were dispatched to the bridge to combat the hazardous conditions brought on by the low temperatures.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the weather had not affected operations with the Denton County Transportation Authority. Spokeswoman Adrienne Hamilton said the A-train and all the system buses are running on a normal schedule.
Denton’s street department and crews with Denton Municipal Electric remain on alert and are out looking for trouble spots, according to city spokeswoman Jessica Rogers.
So far, there haven’t been any electric outages associated with the weather. The street department remains on 24-hour shifts, but supervisors recalled the sanding trucks since the colder air stayed to the west and most of Denton was rainy Wednesday.
“The bigger impacts may come tonight,” Rogers said. “We’re playing a waiting game.”
People needing a hot meal and warm place to stay Wednesday night can enter the Monsignor King Outreach Center, 300 S. Woodrow Lane, beginning at 6:30 p.m. To volunteer to help at the shelter, visit https://bit.ly/2R4a0vr. The Salvation Army also runs an emergency shelter and is open at 1508 E. McKinney St.
A winter weather advisory continues through 6 a.m. Friday for the region’s northern and western counties, including Denton County.
Patricia Sanchez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, said the cold, rainy conditions that developed Wednesday were expected to continue through the afternoon and overnight hours.
By Thursday afternoon, that could change to snow, with as much as one to three inches falling.
With Denton County right on the edge of the system, “we could be less,” Sanchez said. “[Wednesday afternoon and night, and Thursday], we’ll monitor the forecast to see if it will change.”
And motorists should do the same. Many major roads and highways were pre-treated in advance of the weather, and that has helped minimize the impact. But there are still plenty of slick spots out there, she said.
“Some rural areas and other places haven’t been treated, and where they haven’t been treated, it’s been an issue,” Sanchez said.
“At night, you don’t see the slick spots as well,” she added.
Once the system moves through to the east, temperatures will go up to the mid-50s on Friday, she said.
Skies are expected to be partly sunny Friday morning and clearing by afternoon. Saturday promises sunny skies with highs in the low 60s. Sunday will start sunny and warm, with clouds returning by late afternoon and a chance of showers by midnight.