What to know about the dangerous winter weather
Published on December 22, 2022
Although Santa may enjoy the extremely cold weather that is forecast for late this week, many North Texans do not. In fact, the bone-chilling cold can be dangerous to people and pets who are exposed to it.
Here’s what you need to know about the winter weather:
Dangerous temperatures, wind chill linger
Frigid temperatures and strong winds will allow for dangerously cold wind chills as low as -15 degrees to be possible, according to the Fort Worth office of the National Weather Service. These wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Make sure to avoid extended time outdoors if possible, and if you have to brave the cold, then dress in warm, lightweight layers and cover exposed skin. Bring in pets and any sensitive outdoor plants (if possible), and to cover outdoor pipes and faucets.
Temperatures may briefly rise above freezing on Christmas Eve but will quickly fall below freezing again Saturday evening, the NWS predicts. Much of North Texas will remain below freezing until Christmas Day.
Keeping your roadways safe
The City's Transportation & Public Works Department is closely monitoring the weather. Scout trucks are moving around the city looking for any accumulation from Thursday's light snow flurries. To report an area that needs attention, call 817-392-1234.
What’s open, what’s closed?
View an up-to-date schedule of City facility closures and service adjustments.
Golf courses closing
Fort Worth’s four municipal courses are adjusting their schedules in response to the weather:
- Wednesday, Dec. 21: Courses will close early so greens can be covered and protected.
- Thursday, Dec. 22-Sun. Dec. 25: Courses closed.
- Monday, Dec. 26: Courses are targeted to open at noon.
Call the course to confirm its schedule before loading up your clubs.
Too cold for Log Cabins
The Park & Recreation Department’s Log Cabin Village will be closed Dec. 22-23 due to the predicted bitterly cold temperatures. The Village will also be closed Dec. 24-25 but plans to open, weather permitting, as usual Dec. 27-30.
Where to find warmth
Fort Worth Public Library branches and community centers are open through Friday, and the heat is on. Residents can drop by any location to warm up for a bit. No services such as meals, cots or blankets are provided.
Call the location before heading there to make sure it is open.
Homeless shelters operated by nonprofit agencies will continue to operate normally.
Give space heaters space
Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during December, January and February. The National Fire Protection Association recommends space heaters be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
There’s still time for residents and businesses to take steps to keep their water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting. Follow these tips from the Fort Worth water utility.
Lower your risk of frostbite, hypothermia
When exposed to low temperatures, the human body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. MedStar Mobile Healthcare provided this advice to avoid cold-weather health problems like frostbite and hypothermia:
- Wear cold weather-appropriate clothing such as gloves or mittens, hats, scarves and snow boots.
- Dress in several layers of loose-fitting clothing and cover your face and mouth if possible.
- Be aware of the wind chill factor. Wind can cause body heat loss.
- Stay dry, and if you get wet, remove wet clothing immediately.
- Limit your time outdoors.
- Don’t ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
Sign up for weather alerts
Extreme weather reinforces the importance of staying connected to local government. One way to do that is to sign up for Fort Worth Texas Alerts, an emergency alert system designed to provide warnings about potential hazards.
Alerts are issued by the Office of Emergency Management. When registering, residents can choose to receive optional weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
Keep your pets safe
The American Veterinary Medical Association provided cold weather safety tips for the furriest members of the family.
In addition, Fort Worth Animal Care & Control provided cold-weather tips for pets:
- Feeding your pet a bit more during the cold weather can provide much-needed calories, and making sure they have plenty of water to drink will help keep them well-hydrated and better prepared to handle cold temperatures.
- Keeping any pet outside for long periods of time can be dangerous for the pet. If you’re unable to keep your pet inside during cold weather, provide them with a warm, solid shelter against wind. The floor of the shelter should be off the ground with bedding such as hay, blankets or towels.
- Don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather. Cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.
To report animals in distress, call 817-392-1234, email the Call Center or report the incident through the MyFW app.
Strap down that Santa
The next few days are predicted to have blustery winds, which could wreak havoc with holiday yard decorations. Take a few minutes now to remove any inflatables or other decorations that might take flight over the next few days.
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