Freezing rain and sheets of ice hampered Stephenville on Saturday, canceling youth basketball games and forcing residents, for the most part, to seek the indoors.
The area was under an “ice storm warning” and the high reached only 30 degrees.
Stuart Chilton, “weather watcher” for Channel 8 in Dallas, said .63 of an inch of moisture, including frozen precipitation, had fallen by noon Saturday - the first frozen precipitation to fall in Stephenville in 2007.
“It was the second time for measurable moisture to fall this year in Stephenville,” Chilton said. “The first rain came on January 4 when .91 of an inch was noted.”
Before the cold front blew through at 4:15 p.m. Friday, the temperature had reached a high of 67.7 degrees, Chilton said.
“I was outside at the time the front arrived, and it was similar to some one opening the refrigerator door and leaving it open,” Chilton said. “One could immediately determine the cold front had made its appearance.”
By 5 p.m. Friday - 45 minutes later - the temperature had dropped to 48 degrees, and by 10 p.m. the thermometer read 35 degrees, Chilton said.
At 7 a.m. Saturday, the thermometer read 30 degrees and later at 10 a.m., the mercury had dropped to 28.7 degrees, he said.
Today, periods of freezing rain is expected with “some thunder” possible, according to the National Weather Service. A north wind of between 5 and 10 mph is anticipated, with the chance of precipitation being 100 percent.
“New ice accumulation of 0.4 to 0.6 of an inch (is) possible,” the report said.
Tonight, a chance of freezing rain and sleet is in the forecast, with it expected to be cloudy with a low around 24 and a north/northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
“Chance of precipitation is 40 percent,” according to the report.
On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, there is a chance of sleet before noon, then a slight chance of freezing rain and sleet with it being “mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 29 (degrees).”
Monday night, temperatures are expected to drop to a low of 16 degrees, with wind gusts as high as 20 mph.
Temperatures are expected to rise to 34 degrees on Tuesday before reaching a low of 19 on Tuesday night.
Then, the rest of the week is expected to be as follows:
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 39. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming east southeast. Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Friday: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Saturday: A slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52.
DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.