Snapping back

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Clean-up from yet another ice storm began again in Denton County after the area was bombarded by ice and sleet. Here, Travis Lowe scrapes ice off his vehicle on Oaklawn Avenue during the sleet storm Sunday.
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Weather experts: Temps to warm as week progresses

Warm weather is on the way back, though perhaps not soon enough for Denton County residents.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-40s today but should be back in the 70s by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Rare “thunder sleet” — a thunderstorm that produces sleet instead of rain — mixed with freezing drizzle and ice pellets throughout the county Sunday, creating hazardous roads and causing several school districts to cancel classes for Monday. Texas Department of Transportation trucks began to coat the roads with sand as early as 3 a.m. Sunday to help combat the conditions.

The latest round of icy weather, which forced the cancellation of a number of schools and districts once again in the county on Monday, wasn’t as severe or long-lasting as previous storms that have struck North Texas this winter season.

By Monday, most of the ice had melted into slush but those patches were expected to freeze again over night.

Mother Nature may offer a helping hand for today, however. Cloud coverage was expected to keep temperatures warmer overnight and help melt the remaining patches of ice today, said Dennis Cavanaugh, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator for much of the state, asked customers to limit their electricity usage during the bad weather through this morning to help avoid power outages.

Another storm is supposed to bring ice to central Texas today, but it is not expected to get north of Waco, Cavanaugh said.

“Once that storm system passes to the east, we’re probably looking at clearing skies from the west to east, and some south winds will help us warm up,” Cavanaugh said.

Jody Gonzalez, Denton County emergency services director, said accidents were at a minimum Sunday night and Monday morning. Denton police responded to only 32 accidents and 30 calls to provide motorist assistance from 10 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday, he said.

“Most of the people stayed at home [Monday] morning,” he said. “I think there were several accidents coming in but everything was real minor. Someone slid into a ditch or hit someone from behind, where they tried to stop and slid into the person in front of them.”

Gonzalez said there were not any real major power outages, something that it always a big concern when the temperatures get down into the teens.

Gonzales said Monday saw some good drying-out effect from the sun. But he warned motorists not to get too confident just because the road is drying out. He said the wet patches could freeze again overnight and create black ice hazards in the early morning hours today.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-50s on Wednesday and the lower 60s on Thursday. The high Friday is expected to be 74 degrees.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

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