DALLAS (AP) — North Texas will start to thaw out Sunday, with temperatures slightly above freezing and a bit of sunshine. But it will likely be a couple of days before the ice that's coated the region melts completely.
"It's just a matter of us warming up eventually to help melt this ice," said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cain.
Bitter cold temperatures followed the snow and ice late last week, so sheets of ice were still covering many roadways. The Texas Department of Transportation on Sunday was bringing in additional graders with special blades designed to break up thick ice on a particularly treacherous areas.
Cain said there's a range of conditions on the area's highways — "It's kind of hit and miss."
"The residential roads are ice skating rinks right now, the secondary roads are improving," he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of departing flights were again cancelled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Temperatures in the Dallas area were expected to reach a high of 37 in some places by the afternoon. But whatever ice is left will freeze again overnight. The National Weather Service says Monday's temperatures will reach into the high 30s, with 40s coming on Wednesday.
Since Friday morning, a stretch of I-35 north of Dallas had a thick coating of ice, making driving conditions troublesome. Motorists inched along over the weekend and sometimes were at standstill for hours at a time, forcing them to either sleep in their vehicles or take refuge in shelters set up in the town of Sanger, located about 50 miles north of Dallas.
Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Hartzel said Sunday that graders with special blades will break up thick ice — anywhere from 4- to 6-inches thick — along that stretch of I-35.
"A standard snow plow doesn't work on solid ice," he said.