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Below-freezing weather interrupts life in Dallas area and Oregon


The Dallas-Fort Worth region is shivering this weekend with below-freezing temperatures that have shut down roads, canceled flights and halted much of city life.

The temperature in the area Saturday afternoon was 25 degrees, and it was expected to get colder.

Saturday’s high temperature will probably be the lowest high on record for a Dec. 7 in the metroplex — well below the previous record from 1950 of 33 degrees, Dennis Cain, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth, told The Los Angeles Times.

The current storm has sent temperatures dropping across the nation. Some parts of the country are used to this kind of weather. Not Dallas-Fort Worth.

Over the last few days, the Dallas area has seen sleet and freezing rain that covered much of the city in ice, prompting the name “Ice Friday.” Although the sleet and freezing rain have stopped, the low temperatures have not let the ice melt on the roads and freeways.

“The residential streets are almost like ice skating rinks,” Cain said.

The roads are so slick that Satori Ananda, who lives in Arlington — a city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — skipped the Kanye West concert that she had tickets for Friday night.

“I can’t leave my house because of all the ice in the street,” Ananda, 37, told The Times on Friday before the show in Dallas.

Several city operations were affected by the weather. Because of the dangerous conditions, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as of Saturday morning had canceled at least 400 departures, which is about half its usual schedule.

The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon scheduled for Sunday was canceled because of weather conditions.

Cain said the region’s temperatures would break above freezing Sunday, so some of the ice compacted on the roads will melt. However, once the sun goes down, the water will refreeze. Cain said the cold should ease up by Monday afternoon.

Oregon is also having unusually cold weather. Eugene and Corvallis got seven and nine inches of snow Friday, respectively, causing classes to be canceled at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Portland got a half-inch dusting of snow.

Eugene is expected to have a low temperature of negative 4 degrees Saturday night, which is the lowest since 1972, Andy Bryant, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Portland, told The Times.

Bryant said that the cold will continue at least through Monday, but maybe longer.

“It’s hard to say how long it’s going to take for us to get back to our typical cold and rainy weather,” he said. “The kind of weather that the Ducks and Beavers are more familiar with.”

People who didn’t have to go to work or school, like the University of Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers, seemed to enjoy their snow day.

 

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